When is helical CT scanning used to determine the cause of lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (LGIB)?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Helical CT scanning of the abdomen and pelvis can be used when a routine workup fails to determine the cause of active gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. [30] Multiple criteria, including vascular extravasation of the contrast medium, contrast enhancement of the bowel wall, thickening of the bowel wall, spontaneous hyperdensity of the peribowel fat, and vascular dilatations, are used to establish the bleeding site with helical CT scans. [1, 2] The presence of diverticula alone is not enough to define the bleeding site. [1]

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