Pneumatosis intestinalis

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Pneumatosis intestinalis
Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis - low mag.jpg
Micrograph showing large bowel wall with pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, a generally benign subset of pneumatosis intestinalis. H&E stain.
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 K63.8, R93.3
ICD-9-CM 569.89
DiseasesDB 31855
eMedicine article/371955

Pneumatosis intestinalis (also called intestinal pneumatosis, pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, or pneumatosis coli) is pneumatosis of an intestine, that is, gas cysts in the bowel wall.[1] As a radiological sign it is highly suggestive for necrotizing enterocolitis. This is in contrast to gas in the intestinal lumen (which is relieved by flatulence). In newborns, pneumatosis intestinalis is considered diagnostic for necrotizing enterocolitis, and the air is produced by bacteria in the bowel wall.[2] The pathogenesis of pneumatosis intestinalis is poorly understood and is likely multifactorial. PI itself is not a disease, but rather a clinical sign. In some cases, PI is an incidental finding, whereas in others, it portends a life-threatening intra-abdominal condition.


  1. ^ Braumann C, Menenakos C, Jacobi CA (2005). "Pneumatosis intestinalis--a pitfall for surgeons?" (PDF). Scand J Surg. 94 (1): 47–50. PMID 15865117. 
  2. ^ Tao Le; Vikas Bhushan; Nathan Skelley. First aid for the USMLE step 2 CK (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical. pp. 369–370. ISBN 9780071761376.