Bowel obstruction echocardiography or ultrasound

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Bowel obstruction Microchapters


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Historical Perspective




Differentiating Bowel obstruction from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hadeel Maksoud M.D.[2]


There are no echocardiography findings associated with bowel obstruction. However, an ultrasound may be helpful in the diagnosis of chronic bowel obstruction as well as acute bowel obstructions, and complications including incarcerated hernias. Abdominal ultrasound is also useful in patients that are allergic to contrast media, are pregnant or are bed-ridden.


Limitations of ultrasound

  • Despite ultrasound being a more sensitive and specific modality than plain X-ray, it cannot determine the following:
    • Gas-filled structures
    • Location of obstruction
    • Etiology of obstruction
    • Presence of complications


  1. Suri S, Gupta S, Sudhakar PJ, Venkataramu NK, Sood B, Wig JD (1999). "Comparative evaluation of plain films, ultrasound and CT in the diagnosis of intestinal obstruction". Acta Radiol. 40 (4): 422–8. PMID 10394872.
  2. Schmutz GR, Benko A, Fournier L, Peron JM, Morel E, Chiche L (1997). "Small bowel obstruction: role and contribution of sonography". Eur Radiol. 7 (7): 1054–8. doi:10.1007/s003300050251. PMID 9265673.
  3. Taylor MR, Lalani N (2013). "Adult small bowel obstruction". Acad Emerg Med. 20 (6): 528–44. doi:10.1111/acem.12150. PMID 23758299.
  4. Catena F, Di Saverio S, Kelly MD, Biffl WL, Ansaloni L, Mandalà V, Velmahos GC, Sartelli M, Tugnoli G, Lupo M, Mandalà S, Pinna AD, Sugarbaker PH, Van Goor H, Moore EE, Jeekel J (2011). "Bologna Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Adhesive Small Bowel Obstruction (ASBO): 2010 Evidence-Based Guidelines of the World Society of Emergency Surgery". World J Emerg Surg. 6: 5. doi:10.1186/1749-7922-6-5. PMC 3037327. PMID 21255429.

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