This page is dedicated to covering the important radiological finding of pneumatosis intestinalis. Look here for more radiological findings.
WHAT IS IT?
Pneumatosis intestinalis refers to the presence of air in the bowel wall. This is a radiological finding that can be best appreciated on abodminal radiographs (such as an abdominal KUB).
DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS FOR THIS FINDING
When seeing pneumatosis intestinalis, it is important to keep in mind the following possible causes of this finding:
- Chronic obstructie pulmonary disease (COPD): air from ruptured blebs can presumably dissect through the mediastinum and into the abdomen.
- Bowel of necrosis (most dangerous): necrotizing enterocolitis, ischemic bowel disease
- Obstruction of the bowel: Hirschsprung disease, pyloric stenosis, obstructing carcinomas
- Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis (rare condition): primary form of disease where cyst like collections of air are present in submucousa or serosa of the bowel wall.
KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHARACTERIZING THE FINDING
When seeing pneumatosis intestinalis, there are a few important radiological features one should look at to try and characterize the finding. These features can help navigate the differential diagnosis above.
Page Updated: 01.10.2017