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J Ultrasound Med. 1993 Sep;12(9):531-5.

Use of ultrasound in the detection of occult bowel perforation in neonates.

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Department of Radiology, Arkansas Children's Hospital, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.


Intestinal perforation is a common and serious complication of NEC in neonates. Plain film evidence often is absent in patients with surgically proved perforation. Some patients with NEC develop a distended, gasless abdomen suitable for sonographic evaluation. Five neonates with gasless abdominal distention and clinical decline were studied with ultrasonography. Four patients demonstrated intraperitoneal fluid-debris levels and ascites; all had surgical proof of perforation. The fifth patient did not demonstrate these findings and subsequently recovered. The sonographic findings of ascites and intraperitoneal fluid-debris levels in patients with NEC are suggestive of perforation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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