MDCT of the Small Bowel

Grace A. Tye, MD; Terry S. Desser, MD


Appl Radiol. 2012;41(8):6-17. 

In This Article

Abstrct and Introduction


A variety of infectious, inflammatory, neoplastic, and congenital diseases affect the small bowel, resulting in myriad clinical presentations that can often overlap. Computed tomography (CT) has become an indispensable tool for evaluating the small bowel in both the outpatient and emergency room settings, replacing the radiographic small-bowel follow-through (SBFT) examination in most instances. The development of multidetector CT (MDCT) scanners and their concomitant shorter scan times has further increased the utility of CT in evaluating vascular abnormalities affecting the small bowel because of the ability to scan multiple acquisitions during different phases of enhancement. The multiplanar capabilities of MDCT, along with the development of neutral enteric contrast agents, has facilitated the development of CT enterography as a useful tool for detailed characterization of inflammatory diseases and improved detection of small-bowel neoplasms.

The purpose of this article is, first, to review the technique for performing MDCT of the small bowel, and second, to discuss its various applications and indications.


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