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.
- Fecal impaction
- Pericolonic stranding
- Stercoral colitis