Sentinel loop

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 17 Jun 2021

A sentinel loop is a short segment of adynamic ileus close to an intra-abdominal inflammatory process. When seen, it is usually identified on abdominal radiography.

The sentinel loop sign may aid in localizing the source of inflammation. For example, a sentinel loop in the upper abdomen may indicate pancreatitis, whilst one in the right lower quadrant may be due to appendicitis.

Differential diagnosis

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: due to acute appendicitis
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