The value of sonography, CT and air enema for detection of complicated Meckel diverticulum in children with nonspecific clinical presentation Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Complicated Meckel diverticulum (MD) in children does not always present with painless rectal bleeding and its presentation can then produce a difficult diagnostic dilemma. In this clinical setting, sonography (US), CT or even air enema may be the first modality chosen to evaluate these children rather than the radionuclide Meckel scan (RNMS). PURPOSE: To assess the value of US, CT and air enema for detection of complicated MD. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Review of clinical, imaging, surgical and pathological findings in 64 children (55 males, 9 females) aged 4 days -14 years (mean = 3.7 years) with MD seen during an 8-year period, 1990-1997. RESULTS: (a) In 33 patients with rectal bleeding, MD was detected on RNMS in 32. Ten of these 32 had other imaging studies, all of which were negative. (b) The other 31 patients, with varied clinical presentations, did not undergo RNMS. In these 31 and the 1 with a negative RNMS, 14 (44 %) had imaging features highly suggestive for the diagnosis of MD on US in all 14, on CT in 1, and on air enema in 3. The radiological spectrum of the inflamed, hemorrhagic MD is illustrated. CONCLUSION: The inflamed, hemorrhagic and the inverted, intussuscepted MD have a spectrum of features recognizable on US, CT and air enema. Some of these appearances are specific, others are not. Knowledge of and recognition of these features will facilitate detection of complicated MD in larger numbers of children presenting with symptoms other than the classic history of painless rectal bleeding and also in those with normal RNMS.

publication date

  • December 1, 1998