Excessive rectal submucosal and presacral fat due to obesity

Case contributed by Mohamed Saber
Diagnosis probable


Abnormal bowel habits, pelvic pain, and urinary symptoms

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male

CT study shows excess submucosal fat deposition involving the rectum (fat halo sign) with associated extramural deposition of fat leads to significant thickening of the perirectal fat and widening of the presacral space

Case Discussion

This study demonstrates rectal fat halo sign and widening of the presacral space, both are described in chronic cases of inflammatory bowel disease, however, they are nonspecific and should be correlated with clinical and histopathological evidence. Many causes other than inflammatory bowel disease could be presenting similarly including normal obese patients.

This patient had a colonoscopy that revealed a normal colon with no evidence of inflammatory bowel disease. His CT findings were attributed to obesity.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.