Accordion sign (colon)

The accordion sign is seen on CT examinations of the abdomen and refers to the similarity between the thickened oedematous wall of pseudomembranous colitis and the folds of an accordion. This appearance is the result of oral contrast being trapped between oedematous haustral folds and pseudomembranes formed on the luminal surface of the colon 2.

Although it has been reported to be a specific sign of severe Clostridium difficile related-colitis, it has also been described in other forms of non-specific, ischaemic, and non-clostridial infective colitides 1.

Occasionally, the hyperaemic enhancing mucosa is stretched over markedly thickened submucosal folds, simulating the accordion sign even in the absence of oral contrast material.

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Article information

rID: 7305
Section: Signs
Tags: stub, cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Accordion sign in pseudomembaneous colitis

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