Imaging of the Colon and Rectum: Inflammatory and Infectious Diseases

  • Jaap Stoker
  • Richard M. Gore


Infectious and inflammatory diseases of the colon and rectum are common disorders that are becoming increasingly prevalent. Diverticulitis, appendicitis, and the inflammatory and infectious colitides are among the commonest causes of acute abdominal pain. These patients frequently present with non-specific symptoms. Since in most cases of acute abdominal pain clinical and laboratory assessments cannot confidently identify a specific etiology, cross-sectional imaging plays an important part in the work-up and management of these patients. Ultrasound (US) and computed tomography (CT) are the primary means of evaluating acute abdominal pain, as both modalities provide insight into the pathological changes in the colon wall, serosa, surrounding mesentery, and peritoneum. US is a readily available, real-time technique with reasonable accuracy that uses no ionizing radiation. CT provides rapid assessment with high accuracy, optimal field of view, and good reproducibility. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with acute abdominal pain offers great clinical potential by virtue of its global imaging perspective, exquisite soft-tissue resolution, and high accuracy without the need for ionizing radiation.


Acute Appendicitis Bowel Wall Acute Abdominal Pain Chronic Ulcerative Colitis Pilonidal Sinus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaap Stoker
    • 1
  • Richard M. Gore
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Academic Medical CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, North Shore University Health SystemEvanston HospitalEvanstonUSA

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