Pneumatosis coli is a descriptive sign presenting radiographically as intramural gas limited to the colonic wall.
There are different terminologies in the medical literature, such as pneumatosis intestinalis, pneumatosis coli, and pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis. Pneumatosis intestinalis is used when only the small bowel wall is involved. Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis is descriptive for multiple gaseous cysts along the bowel wall.
In adults, the sign is usually found incidentally in asymptomatic patients 2.
Pseudopneumatosis (mimics) include:
- gas trapped between bowel wall and luminal contents
- gas trapped by opposing mucosal folds
- gas bubbles adherent to the bowel wall
- 1. Crocetti M, Barone MA, Oski FA. Oski's essential pediatrics. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2004) ISBN:0781737702. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Stein E. Anorectal and colon diseases, textbook and color atlas of proctology. Springer Verlag. (2003) ISBN:3540430393. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Pickhardt PJ, Kim DH, Taylor AJ. Asymptomatic pneumatosis at CT colonography: a benign self-limited imaging finding distinct from perforation. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008;190 (2): W112-7. doi:10.2214/AJR.07.2843 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Pear BL. Pneumatosis intestinalis: a review. Radiology. 1998;207 (1): 13-9. doi:10.1148/radiology.207.1.9530294 - Pubmed citation