[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
November 1984

Roentgenographic Contrast Studies in Acute Small-Bowel Obstruction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Dunn and Berne) and Radiology (Dr Halls), University of Southern California School of Medicine and Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(11):1305-1308. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390230071017

• Plain abdominal roentgenograms are usually adequate for the treatment of patients with small-bowel obstruction. There is a select group of patients who may benefit from a more precise diagnosis or by nonoperative therapy for whom contrast roentgenograms may be helpful. Contrast roentgenograms were performed in 68 (21%) of 327 patients who had nondiagnostic abdominal films, atypical histories or findings, or those in whom nonoperative resolution would be highly desirable. Sixty-eight percent of 48 contrast tracers gave useful information, whereas 75% of 24 contrast enemas were helpful. Contrast material passed through a site of obstruction in 34 patients, yet 13(38%) still required an operation. Contrast material did not pass in 16 patients and only one avoided a surgical procedure. No difference was noted between barium sulfate or water-soluble contrast material or how it was administered.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:1305-1308)