What is the role of the radiologist’s experience in the evaluation of small-bowel obstruction (SBO) and which radiographic signs are most significant?

Updated: Apr 28, 2017
  • Author: Mityanand Ramnarine, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Answer

The experience of a radiologist also appears to play a role in the evaluation of SBO. Among 6 reviewers in one study, the sensitivity of SBO was between 59% and 93%, with senior staff members having significantly higher sensitivity. [4] The radiographic signs that were most significant included, two or more air-fluid levels, air-fluid levels wider than 2.5 cm, or air fluid levels differing more than 5 mm in same bowel loop. [4]


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