Stercoral colitis: A lethal disease-computed tomographic findings and clinical characteristic

Maxim Saksonov, Gil N. Bachar*, Sara Morgenstern, Abdel Rauf Zeina, Margarita Vasserman, Orith Protnoy, Ofer Benjaminov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the radiographic findings in stercoral colitis.

Methods: The computed tomographic scans and abdominal radiographs of 13 patients with surgically and pathologically confirmed stercoral colitis from 4 affiliated hospitals were reviewed by a board-certified abdominal radiologist blinded to the official imaging, surgical, and pathologic findings.

Results: The median age was 66 years. The patients presented mainly with constipation (100%) and an acute inflammatory process (85%); 5 patients (38%) had frank septic shock. Mortality was 46%. Imaging scans showed that the colon dilated proximally to the impaction site in 6 patients (50%). Other findings included fat stranding (100%), mucosal sloughing (58%), mesenteric hyperemia (58%), and extraluminal gas (17%).

Conclusions: Computed tomography is an important diagnostic modality for stercoral colitis. The presence of a large fecaloma with distention of the affected colon and wall thickening and pericolonic fat stranding should alert radiologists and surgeons to the presence of this potentially fatal condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-726
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • CT
  • Constipation
  • Fecal impaction
  • Perforation
  • Pericolonic stranding
  • Stercoral colitis


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