Small intestine cancer CT

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Small intestine cancer Microchapters


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Differentiating Small intestine cancer from other Diseases

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Qurrat-ul-ain Abid, M.D.[2]


Abdominal CT scan may be diagnostic of small intestine cancer. Findings on CT scan suggestive of small intestine cancer include intrinsic mass with a short segment of bowel wall thickening.

CT Scan

  • CT is the study of choice for staging the disease by identifying primary tumor, assessing local, nodal, and distant spread.
  • CT may help in differentiating between the small intestinal cancers. Different cancers have different appearance on CT:[1]
  • CT scan may show intrinsic mass with a short segment of bowel wall thickening.
  • Invasion of retro peritoneal fat planes, pancreatic and biliary duct, vascular encasement, lymph nodal and distant metastases is common in later stages.
  • In Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, non-neoplastic lesions may resemble small intestinal neoplasm on CT.
Tumors Findings on CT
  • Ulcerative lesions, nodular lesions and annular lesions
Carcinoid tumors
  • Poorly defined homogenous mass displacing intestinal loops
  • Calcification and desmoplastic reaction is a very specific finding of carcinoid tumors on CT
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Bulky mass on CT
  • Lymphoma is associated with significant dilation of the lumen of intestine
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors(GISTs)
  • Intraluminal, subserosal or submucosal homogeneous masses with sharply defined borders
  • Calcifications
  • Intraluminal homogeneous mass, well-circumscribed and with some fat attenuation
Malignant metastasized tumors
  • Intraperitoneal seedings extending locally
  • Metastasized tumors give appearance of multiple small nodular masses in intestinal serosa, mesentery, and omentum


  1. Buckley, J A; Fishman, E K (1998). "CT evaluation of small bowel neoplasms: spectrum of disease". RadioGraphics. 18 (2): 379–392. doi:10.1148/radiographics.18.2.9536485. ISSN 0271-5333.