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J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2012 Jan;5(1):84-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-2700.93109.

The role of ultrasound in the management of intestinal obstruction.

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Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.


Intestinal obstruction (IO) is a common cause of acute abdominal pain. The recent increased use of sonography in the initial evaluation of abdominal pain has made point-of-care ultrasound a valuable tool for the diagnosis of IO. Sonography is as sensitive, but more specific, than plain abdominal X-ray in the diagnosis of IO. Point-of-care ultrasound can answer specific questions related to IO that assist the acute care physician in critical decision making. Sonography can also help in the resuscitation of patients by serial measurement of the IVC diameter. We review the sonographic findings of IO and the role of point-of-care ultrasound in the management of patients having IO.


Diagnosis; intestinal obstruction; ultrasonography

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