Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-62

Evaluation of suspected small bowel ischemia using contrast-enhanced ultrasound with computed tomography fusion

1 Department of Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2 Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. George Koenig
MOB, 7th Floor, 1100 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jets.jets_57_21

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Small bowel ischemia can lead to fatal complications such as necrosis, perforation, and sepsis. Clinical examinations and laboratory tests are usually inconclusive in critically ill patients. The need for surgical exploration is decided based on imaging, examination, and clinical judgment. The decision to operate is time-critical and can be lifesaving, but surgical intervention has the potential to cause additional morbidity, especially in unstable patients. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) is the study of choice in suspected small bowel ischemia but has poor specificity. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) provides real-time visualization of the bowel wall vascularity. In this case report, we used a CEUS with CT fusion examination to rule out small bowel ischemia in a critically ill patient with suspected closed loop small bowel obstruction on CECT and in whom surgical exploration would have not been well tolerated. The patient's condition later improved, and an abdominal CT showed no evidence of obstruction.

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