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Il Giornale di Chirurgia

Bowel wall thickening: inquire or not inquire? Our guidelines

Original Article, 41 - 44
doi: 11138/gchir/2018.39.1.041
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Abstract
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Introduction. Bowel wall thickening is not an uncommon finding among patient undergoing abdomen CT scan. It may be caused by neoplastic, inflammatory, infectious or ischaemic conditions but also be a normal variant. Although specific radiologic patterns may direct to a precise diagnosis, occasionally misidentification may occur. Thus, in the absence of guidelines, further and not always needed diagnostic procedures (colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy or capsule endoscopy) are performed.
Patients and methods. We conducted a retrospective study on data collected from May 2016 to June 2017. We selected 40 adult patients, admitted in Emergency Department with “abdominal pain” and undergone an abdomen CT scan, in which bowel wall abnormalities were founded.
Results. 75% patients were found to have a benign condition vs 25% a malignant condition. In the stomach group, 50% were found to have a neoplasm, whilst 33.3% presented an aspecific pattern and 16.7% had an inflammatory disease. In the small bowel cluster, 33.3% patients had an ischaemic disease, 33.3% an aspecific pattern, 22.2% an inflammatory disease and 11.1% was diagnosed with cancer. In the colon group, 36% had an inflammatory disease, 24% a colon cancer, 24% an aspecific pattern and 16% an ischaemic condition.
Conclusions. We recommend to perform a further endoscopic procedure to all patients with gastric or colonic wall abnormalities on CT scan, on the basis of growing rate of cancer and IBD. Capsule endoscopy should be taken into account in patients with severe symptoms and after a previous negative endoscopic examination.

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