PMID: 591253Nov 1, 1977

Successive abdominal roentgenograms: a new method of evaluating postoperative small bowel activity

Investigative Radiology
D Bryk, S Lehrer


The technique of two successive abdominal roentgenograms at a five minute interval is proposed as a new method of evaluating small bowel activity in the presence of postoperative intestinal distention. One hundred and forty-four cases of postoperative small bowel distention were studied with this technique and correlated with the clinical evaluation of the bowel sounds and with the development of a variety of postoperative complications. Correlation with the bowel sounds was fairly good, except in the presence of a clinical description of hypoactive sounds. Reduced activity on the successive roentgenograms after the third postoperative day was frequently associated with postoperative complications, while persistent small bowel distention in the presence of significant roentgen activity usually indicated mechanical small bowel obstruction. This method for determination of small bowel activity thus appears to be useful in evaluating postoperative problems.

Related Concepts

Intestinal Obstruction
Intestines, Small
Postoperative Complications

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