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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1985 Aug;145(2):289-92.

The plain abdominal radiograph in acute gastrointestinal graft-vs.-host disease.


The plain abdominal radiographs of 28 patients with acute gastrointestinal graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) were examined to determine the plain radiographic findings associated with this disorder. These findings, in order of decreasing frequency, included air-fluid levels, bowel wall/mucosal fold thickening, gasless abdomen, bowel dilatation, pneumatosis intestinalis, and ascites. When a number of these findings are present, the plain abdominal radiographs may be sufficiently characteristic to suggest gastrointestinal GVHD. Differentiating acute gastrointestinal GVHD from small-bowel obstruction is often of major clinical importance. Fortunately, the bowel gas pattern in acute gastrointestinal GVHD rarely suggests obstruction and, thus, bowel obstruction can usually be excluded on the basis of plain radiographs alone.

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