CT of gastric emergencies

Preethi Guniganti, Courtney H. Bradenham, Constantine Raptis, Christine O. Menias, Vincent M. Mellnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are common presenting symptoms among adult patients seeking care in the emergency department, and, with the increased use of computed tomography (CT) to image patients with these complaints, radiologists will more frequently encounter a variety of emergent gastric pathologic conditions on CT studies. Familiarity with the CT appearance of emergent gastric conditions is important, as the clinical presentation is often nonspecific and the radiologist may be the first to recognize gastric disease as the cause of a patient’s symptoms. Although endoscopy and barium fluoroscopy remain important tools for evaluating patients with suspected gastric disease in the outpatient setting, compared with CT these modalities enable less comprehensive evaluation of patients with nonspecific complaints and are less readily available in the acute setting. Endoscopy is also more invasive than CT and has greater potential risks. Although the mucosal detail of CT is relatively poor compared with barium fluoroscopy or endoscopy, CT can be used with the appropriate imaging protocols to identify inflammatory conditions of the stomach ranging from gastritis to peptic ulcer disease. In addition, CT can readily demonstrate the various complications of gastric disease, including perforation, obstruction, and hemorrhage, which may direct further clinical, endoscopic, or surgical management. We will review the normal anatomy of the stomach and discuss emergent gastric disease with a focus on the usual clinical presentation, typical imaging appearance, and differentiating features, as well as potential imaging pitfalls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1909-1921
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

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