Malignant large bowel obstruction

Case contributed by Ian Bickle
Diagnosis certain


A short history of increasing abdominal distension. No bowel motion for 2 days. Obstruction?

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Female

Short segment circumferential tumor of the sigmoid colon.   The rectal is collapsed.

The proximal large bowel is distended with faeculant matter.  Small bowel normal in caliber.

Fatty liver.  The solid organs are otherwise normal.

No pelvic or para-aortic lymphadenopathy.

Right basal atelectasis.

Case Discussion

This is your bread and butter case.   Typical appearances of a common pathology rather than a wow unusual case.

It is bread and butter in terms of pathology, but also the sort of on-call case that creeps up fairly often as a surgical abdomen with large bowel obstruction.

Be sure to check for a tumoral perforation and not to miss any distant metastases.

The need for completion staging of the chest with CT is also worthy of mention.

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.