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What’s the clinical significance of pneumatosis intestinalis?

MDCT examinations of emergency patients were assessed in order to evaluate the clinical significance of pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) and its influence on treatment and outcome. PI extension, distribution and possibly associated porto-mesenteric venous gas (PMVG) were correlated with other MDCT-findings, risk factors, clinical management amongst others.

Key Points

• In emergency patients, PI may be caused by various disorders.
• Intestinal ischemia remains the most common cause of PI in acute situations.
• PI associated with decreased mural contrast-enhancement indicates acute intestinal ischemia.
• PI associated with PMVG should alert the radiologist to possible underlying ischemia.

Article: Clinical significance of pneumatosis intestinalis – correlation of MDCT-findings with treatment and outcome

Authors: Marc-Olivier Treyaud, Rafael Duran, Marc Zins et al.