Role of Multidetector Computed Tomography in Patients of Acute Mesenteric Ischaemia and its Comparison with Clinicosurgical Outcome: A Cross-sectional Study
Professor, Department of Radiology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital,
Ludhiana, Punjab, India.
Introduction: Acute mesenteric ischaemia is an abdominal emergency occurring in nearly 1% of patients presenting with acute abdomen. Early diagnosis is very important for the improved survival of the patient. Acute mesenteric ischaemia frequently presents with non specific features such as vomiting, loose stools and abdominal distension. The classical triad of fever, haematochezia and abdominal pain is seen in only 30% of the patients so, it is difficult to diagnose clinically. Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) is gold standard and first line test to diagnose intestinal ischaemia.
Aim: To assess the efficacy of MDCT in the diagnosis of acute mesenteric ischaemia and to compare its outcome with surgical and/or clinical findings.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study conducted from 1st November 2018 to 31st May 2020, MDCT was performed on 40 patients (23 male; 17 female, age range: 28-93 years). Axial and reconstructed images of each patient were evaluated for evidence of bowel wall thickening, bowel wall attenuation, abnormal wall enhancement, bowel dilatation, mesenteric stranding, ascites, solid organ infarcts, pneumatosis intestinalis or portomesenteric gas, and mesenteric arterial or venous thrombosis. Multidetector CT findings were compared with the surgical findings and clinical outcome. Results were expressed in terms of frequency and percentages.
Results: Out of 40 patients, most common cause of acute mesenteric ischaemia was arterial thrombosis, seen in 20 patients (50%) while 13 patients (32.5%) had portomesenteric venous thrombosis and 7 (17.5%) patients were diagnosed with non occlusive mesenteric ischaemia. CT finding of bowel wall thickening and bowel dilatation however non specific were seen in majority of patients (62.5% and 70%, respectively). Mesenteric fat stranding and ascites were seen in 95% and 77.5% cases respectively. Specific signs of acute mesenteric ischaemia includes hypoenhancing and non enhancing bowel walls seen in 27 patients (67.5%). Pneumatosis intestinalis and portomesenteric pneumatosis in 20% patients. A total of 27 patients underwent surgery and 13 patients were managed conservatively. On comparing the CT findings with intraoperative/histopathological findings, accuracy of MDCT in the diagnosis of acute mesenteric ischaemia in this study was 96.39%.
Conclusion: MDCT should be the first line imaging modality to diagnose acute mesenteric ischaemia and to exclude other causes of acute abdomen. It is an excellent and fast modality to diagnose bowel ischaemia, as it can visualise both the bowel and mesenteric changes as well as accurately depict the mesenteric vasculature.