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November 1972

Pneumatosis Cystoides Intestinalis of Adulthood

Arch Surg. 1972;105(5):723-726. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180110046012

Three patients had pneumatosis intestinalis. The first suffered from recurrent intestinal obstruction; pneumatosis intestinalis developed with the deterioration of his condition. The second patient was admitted for abdominal pain; pneumoperitoneum was an incidental finding on routine x-ray films of the abdomen, and a diagnosis of pneumatosis intestinalis was made by excluding the possibility of the other disorders that cause pneumoperitoneum. In the third case the disease was diagnosed at autopsy.

A mechanical factor alone does not seem sufficient to produce intestinal cysts and an additional factor, a mucosal permeability change, is apparently needed to cause appearance of the disease.