Lead pipe sign (colon)

The lead pipe appearance of colon is the classical barium enema finding in chronic ulcerative colitis, and is also seen with other modalities such as CT or MRI. There is a complete loss of the haustral markings in the diseased segment of the colon, appearing smooth-walled and cylindrical. 

This appearance results from an increased mucosal regeneration, which in turns lead to muscularis mucosae hypertrophy. When this enlarged muscular layer contracts, it gives the appearance of lead pipe colon 2.

Article information

rID: 6204
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Lead pipe appearance of colon

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 6
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  • Case 7
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  • Case 8
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  • Case 9: Ulcerative colitis with segmental lead pipe colon
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