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Jpn J Radiol. 2012 Nov;30(9):706-12. doi: 10.1007/s11604-012-0121-4. Epub 2012 Aug 23.

Multidetector CT appearance of adhesion-induced small bowel obstructions: matted adhesions versus single adhesive bands.

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Department of Radiology, Saitama Medical Center, Saitama Medical School, 1981 Kamoda, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-8550, Japan.


Adhesive small bowel obstruction (SBO) is a common cause of abdominal pain after surgery or peritonitis. The role of computed tomography (CT) in the evaluation of SBO has expanded. Diagnosis of adhesive SBO, however, remains challenging. Adhesions causing SBO are classified as either matted adhesions or single adhesive bands, and both types have different mechanisms that lead to SBO. In patients with matted adhesions, SBO results from angulation and kinking or from torsion of the intestines. In patients with adhesive bands, SBO results from compression of the intestine caused by the band itself. Recent advances in spatial resolution using multidetector CT (MDCT) have enabled detailed assessment of the configuration of the SBO site. Presented in this pictorial essay are characteristic MDCT findings regarding the mechanism of the obstruction process of adhesive SBO.

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