Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis

Case contributed by Mohammadtaghi Niknejad


Work up for chronic constipation.

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male

Innumerable intramural gas bubbles are seen in the wall of the small bowel loops.

Intraperitoneal gas bubbles are also observed.

Diastasis recti is present up to 8 cm.

The prostate gland is enlarged.  

A small amount of free fluid is present in the pelvis.

Case Discussion

Features on CT images are consistent with pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, a subtype of pneumatosis, characterized by the presence of multiple gas bubbles in the submucosa and/or subserosa of the small intestine wall.

It is essential not to confuse the incidental imaging finding of asymptomatic pneumatosis with symptomatic bowel perforation because the treatment is significantly different.

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