Acute gastritis

Last revised by Rania Adel Anan on 18 Dec 2021

Acute gastritis is a broad term that encompasses a myriad of causes of gastric mucosal inflammation.

It depends on the etiology (see below).

  • asymptomatic
  • epigastric pain/tenderness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • infection: H. pylori (most common)
  • systemic illness: trauma and burns
  • pharmacological/medication: NSAIDs
  • autoimmune
  • caustic ingestion
  • acid/alkali ingestion
  • immunosuppression/AIDS-related 
    • cytomegalovirus
    • Candida albicans
    • histoplasmosis
    • cryptosporidiosis
    • toxoplasmosis
  • eosinophilic gastritis

CT findings can suggest gastritis and detect complications such as gastric perforation, however, often gastritis and tumors cannot be easily differentiated on CT. Moreover, the causes of gastritis cannot be determined on CT. Both circumstances require clinical/lab correlation, probable endoscopy examination, and tissue biopsy 1,2.

CT findings suggestive of gastritis include:

  • gastric wall edema: measuring the HU may be useful to differentiate edema from low attenuation neoplastic lesion
  • halo sign: mucosal enhancement surrounded by submucosal and gastric wall edema

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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