Small bowel obstruction secondary to Crohn disease: CT findings

R. Zissin*, M. Hertz, H. Paran, J. Bernheim, M. Shapiro-Feinberg, G. Gayer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We investigated the computed tomographic (CT) findings in patients with small bowel obstruction (SBO) and Crohn disease (CD). Fourteen patients, seven men and seven women (mean age, 41.3 years), were retrospectively reviewed. All presented with clinical symptoms and signs of SBO. Eleven had a history of CD, whereas three experienced the bowel obstruction as the first manifestation of the disease. On CT, features of complete SBO were seen in nine patients, whereas incomplete obstruction was found in the other five. One patient had CT findings of an adhesive obstruction. The other 13 were diagnosed as having CD-related SBO; a markedly stenotic bowel segment caused the obstruction in one patient, and a thickened-wall small bowel segment with luminal narrowing was evident at the transition zone in the other 12. The mural thickening had a target appearance in seven and homogeneous thickening in the other five. Additional thickened bowel segments were found in five patients and mesenteric involvement was found in 10. Five patients were treated conservatively, and the other nine underwent surgery (one with adhesiolysis only). Resection of the stenotic bowel was performed in six patients and stricturoplasty was done in the other two, with associated intestinal biopsy in one of these two patients. Histopathology revealed findings of active on chronic disease in all. CT is frequently performed for suspected SBO, so radiologists should be aware of the diagnosis of CD, because SBO may be its first manifestation. Alternatively, radiologists can accurately diagnose a CD-related obstruction in a patient with known CD and differentiate it from an obstruction due to adhesions. Patient management in these cases, however, is based most often on the clinical condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-325
Number of pages6
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Computed tomography
  • Crohn disease
  • Small bowel, obstruction


Dive into the research topics of 'Small bowel obstruction secondary to Crohn disease: CT findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this