[Cecal volvulus: imaging features].Radiologia. 2010 Jul-Aug; 52(4):333-41.R
To determine the sensitivity of plain-film radiography and computed tomography (CT) in the diagnosis of cecal volvulus.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
We reviewed the clinical histories of 11 patients diagnosed with cecal volvulus at endoscopy or surgery. Two radiologists working in consensus analyzed the findings at plain-film radiography and at CT and calculated the sensitivities. The plain-film and CT studies were retrospectively classified as certain, probable, or indeterminate for cecal volvulus on the basis of the presence or absence of previously reported signs. Signs of wall suffering at CT were compared to the histologic findings.
The most sensitive findings at plain-film radiography were the presence of a disproportionately dilated bowel loop and a pattern of distal small bowel occlusion (91%), followed by a single air-fluid level in the cecum and collapse of the distal colon (82%). At CT, the "coffee bean" sign with a single air-fluid level and collapse of the left colon had a sensitivity of 100%. The whirl sign was present in 86%. Retrospectively, 36% of the plain-film studies and 86% of the CT studies were classified as certain for cecal volvulus. Although all cases with ischemia had signs of vascular compromise on CT, no significant correlation was observed between these variables.
The plain-film signs reported for cecal volvulus enable a certain diagnosis in a third of all cases; the CT signs enable a certain diagnosis in most cases. The evaluation of additional findings increases the chances of reaching the correct diagnosis.