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Eur Radiol. 2003 Jan;13(1):114-7. Epub 2002 Jun 5.

Helical CT in acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

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Department of Radiology, Hopital Huriez, 1 rue Polonovski, 59037 Lille, France.


The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of helical CT in depicting the location of acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding. A three-phase helical CT of the abdomen was performed in 24 patients referred for acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding. The diagnosis of the bleeding site was established by CT when there was at least one of the following criteria: spontaneous hyperdensity of the peribowel fat; contrast enhancement of the bowel wall; vascular extravasation of the contrast medium; thickening of the bowel wall; polyp or tumor; or vascular dilation. Diverticula alone were not enough to locate the bleeding site. The results of CT were compared with the diagnosis obtained by colonoscopy, enteroscopy, or surgery. A definite diagnosis was made in 19 patients. The bleeding site was located in the small bowel in 5 patients and the colon in 14 patients. The CT correctly located 4 small bowel hemorrhages and 11 colonic hemorrhages. Diagnosis of the primary lesion responsible for the bleeding was made in 10 patients. Our results suggest that helical CT could be a good diagnostic tool in acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding to help the physician to diagnose the bleeding site.

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