Detection of Unsuspected Colonic Abnormalities Using the Pneumocolon Technique During Small Bowel Meal Examination
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AIMS: The pneumocolon technique in small bowel meal examination is used to obtain double-contrast views of the distal ileum. The purpose of this study was to determine the proportion of cases in which an overhead pneumocolon radiograph demonstrated clinically relevant findings in the colon. METHODS: The overhead pneumocolon radiographs in 151 patients who underwent small bowel meals were evaluated retrospectively. A chart review was performed on those patients with positive colonic findings to determine if the suspected abnormalities affected patient management. RESULTS: Colonic abnormalities were identified in 34 of the 151 patients. One patient had a previously undiagnosed ascending colonic cancer; 17 had evidence of acute or chronic colitis; 13 had diverticulosis; one had a caecal polyp; one had an ileosigmoid fistula; one had a filling defect in the ascending colon. In 25 cases the colonic abnormality was visible only on the pneumocolon radiograph and not on the preceding single-contrast images. Management was altered by the colonic findings in seven cases. False-positive findings occurred in two cases. CONCLUSIONS: A routine overhead radiograph following use of the pneumocolon technique is a useful adjunct to small bowel meal examination as it can yield unsuspected and clinically significant colonic findings.Chou, S. (2000). Clinical Radiology55, 459-464.
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