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Jpn J Radiol. 2012 Aug;30(7):541-52. doi: 10.1007/s11604-012-0092-5. Epub 2012 Jun 30.

Radiological diagnosis of large-bowel obstruction: nonneoplastic etiology.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Kyoto City Hospital, 1-2 Higashi-Takada-cho, Mibu, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8845, Japan. hayakawakatsumi2006@yahoo.co.jp


Large-bowel obstruction (LBO) is a relatively common abdominal emergency. Computed tomography (CT) diagnosis of LBO is often easy, but it is essential to clarify LBO etiology and to decide how to treat it. Therefore, it is important for the radiologist to become familiar with the imaging findings of LBO, including plain radiography and CT, to determine its various causes, as well as the many diseases mimicking LBO. In this article, we show the characteristics of radiological findings of plain radiograph, barium study, and CT and their correlations with pathologic findings. LBO etiology comprises two main categories: neoplastic and nonneoplastic disease. However, the primary causes of LBO are neoplastic etiologies, and nonneoplastic causes are relatively uncommon and unfamiliar to many radiologists in clinical practice. Therefore, in this review, we present nonneoplastic etiology of LBO and diseases simulating LBO and provide critical information concerning the causes of LBO and viability of the involved bowel loops.

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