Bowel infarction

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Bowel infarction
Classification and external resources
ICD-9-CM 557.0
DiseasesDB 29034

Bowel infarction results from restricted blood supply to the bowel, most often due to bowel obstruction or occlusion of one of the mesenteric arteries.[1]

Intestinal obstruction. Note the tense wall indicative of gas under pressure and volvulus.

Bowel obstruction is most often caused by intestinal adhesions, which frequently form after abdominal surgeries, or by chronic infections such as diverticulitis, hepatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. The condition is difficult to diagnose properly, as the symptoms may resemble those of other bowel disorders.

Bowel infarction. Note the grey discoloration.

Patients who have undergone extensive resection of the small bowel may develop malabsorption, indicating the need for dietary supplements.

Volvulus is a rare but life-threatening cause of bowel infarction which requires immediate medical attention. Central abdominal pain which is resistant to narcotic analgesia may be an indication of bowel infarction.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smerud MJ, Johnson CD, Stephens DH (January 1990). "Diagnosis of bowel infarction: a comparison of plain films and CT scans in 23 cases". AJR Am J Roentgenol 154 (1): 99–103. doi:10.2214/ajr.154.1.2104734. PMID 2104734.