A wide variety of bowel diseases, some of which are unique to or morem prevalent in pediatric patients, may manifest with intestinal wall thickening at computed tomography (CT). Common causes of bowel wall thickening include edema, hemorrhage, infection, graft-versus-host disease, and inflammatory bowel disease; more unusual causes include immunodeficiencies, lymphoma, hemangioma, pseudotumor, and Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Radiologists must be familiar with the CT signs of bowel disease and should take careful note of the bowel characteristics (eg, extent and distribution of disease involvement, bowel dilatation, mural stratification, perienteric findings) to generate an adequate differential diagnosis. The study should be tailored and optimized in advance according to the clinical scenario to decrease radiation exposure due to repeated or delayed scanning. With spiral CT scanners, studies can be performed quickly, thereby eliminating the need for sedation, and multiple reconstructed images can be generated. CT is an invaluable diagnostic tool in the evaluation of pediatric diseases involving the bowel, in spite of the use of ionizing radiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging