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Abdom Imaging. 2005 Sep-Oct;30(5):524-34.

Gastrointestinal tract perforation: CT diagnosis of presence, site, and cause.

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Department of Radiology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Seta Tsukinowa-cho Otsu, Shiga 520-2192, Japan.


Gastrointestinal tract perforation is an emergent condition that requires prompt surgery. Diagnosis largely depends on imaging examinations, and correct diagnosis of the presence, level, and cause of perforation is essential for appropriate management and surgical planning. Plain radiography remains the first imaging study and may be followed by intraluminal contrast examination; however, the high clinical efficacy of computed tomographic examination in this field has been well recognized. The advent of spiral and multidetector-row computed tomographic scanners has enabled examination of the entire abdomen in a single breath-hold by using thin-slice sections that allow precise assessment of pathology in the alimentary tract. Extraluminal air that is too small to be detected by conventional radiography can be demonstrated by computed tomography. Indirect findings of bowel perforation such as phlegmon, abscess, peritoneal fluid, or an extraluminal foreign body can also be demonstrated. Gastrointestinal mural pathology and associated adjacent inflammation are precisely assessed with thin-section images and multiplanar reformations that aid in the assessment of the site and cause of perforation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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