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Closed-Loop Small-Bowel Obstruction: Diagnostic Patterns by Multidetector Computed Tomography

Elsayes, Khaled M. MD*; Menias, Christine O. MD; Smullen, Timothy L. MD; Platt, Joel F. MD*

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: September-October 2007 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 697-701
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318031f516
Abdominal Imaging: Review Article

Multidetector computed tomography is a highly accurate method in evaluating high-grade intestinal obstruction. Closed-loop obstruction is a relatively uncommon subcategory of small-bowel obstruction; however, it is associated with a high risk of vascular impairment and is, therefore, important to diagnose accurately. Closed-loop obstruction is often caused by conditions such as internal hernias, congenital bands, postoperative adhesions, and malrotation. The purpose of this article is to review the imaging features of closed-loop bowel obstruction and various underlying conditions. Special emphasis will be placed on the technique of multidetector computed tomography and its role in diagnosing this entity.

From the *Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health Center at Ann Arbor, MI; and †Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, St Louis, MO.

Received for publication October 5, 2006; accepted November 10, 2006.

Reprints: Khaled M. Elsayes, MD, Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health Center at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0030 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.