- Scanning technology resources for healthcare professionals. A practical approach


MDCT: The gold-standard imaging approach
for acute mesenteric ischemia

Mesenteric ischemia is a complex condition resulting from a compromised blood flow through the mesenteric vessels to the small intestine, and is classified as acute and chronic. Although rare, the acute form (AMI) can cause intestinal infarction and necrosis and may be life threatening if the diagnosis is late or imprecise.

Angiography has been widely used to detect AMI, but it is an invasive, inaccurate and sometimes dangerous diagnostic method. MDCT has therefore become the leading diagnostic approach for AMI, and should be promptly performed in all patients with suspected bowel ischemia. MDCT is also useful for treatment planning.

The Focus on, the selected literature and the clinical cases here proposed all highlight the fundamental role of MDCT in diagnosing AMI and defining the nature of the disease and the extent of damage. Finally, the Technological Corner offers an in-depth analysis of the use of iterative reconstruction in abdominal imaging and its advantages in reducing radiation exposure.

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From the team



Acute Mesenteric Ischemia
Maria Ciolina, Mariangela Santoni, Andrea Laghi

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Tips and tricks for an optimal use of iterative reconstruction in abdominal CT
D. Caruso, A. Laghi

A number of advantages of iterative reconstruction have been demonstrated in abdominal imaging; these are mainly based on the principle of noise reduction, with subsequent radiation dose reduction and artifact suppression.



Kärkkäinen JM, Saari P, Kettunen HP et al. Interpretation of abdominal CT findings in patients who develop acute on chronic mesenteric ischemia. J Gastrointest Surg. 2016 Apr;20(4):791-802

Mazzei MA, Volterrani L. Nonocclusive mesenteric ischaemia: think about it. Radiol Med. 2015 Jan;120(1):85-95

Costa AF, Chidambaram V, Lee JJ et al. Multidetector computed tomography of mesenteric ischaemia. Insights Imaging. 2014 Dec;5(6):657-66

Schieda N, Fasih N, Shabana W. Triphasic CT in the diagnosis of acute mesenteric ischaemia. Eur Radiol. 2013 Jul;23(7):1891-900