Multidetector-row computed tomography in the preoperative diagnosis of intestinal complications caused by clinically unsuspected ingested dietary foreign bodies: a case series emphasizing the use of volume rendering techniques

Authors: Augusto C├ęsar Vieira Teixeira1; Ulysses dos Santos Torres1; Carlos Eduardo Garcia Westin2; Eduardo Portela de Oliveira1; Fabiana Gual1; Luciana Vargas Cardoso3; Tufik Bauab Jr.4

OBJECTIVE: The present study was aimed at describing a case series where a preoperative diagnosis of intestinal complications secondary to accidentally ingested dietary foreign bodies was made by multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT), with emphasis on complementary findings yielded by volume rendering techniques (VRT) and curved multiplanar reconstructions (MPR).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors retrospectively assessed five patients with surgically confirmed intestinal complications (perforation and/or obstruction) secondary to unsuspected ingested dietary foreign bodies, consecutively assisted in their institution between 2010 and 2012. Demographic, clinical, laboratory and radiological data were analyzed. VRT and curved MPR were subsequently performed.

RESULTS: Preoperative diagnosis of intestinal complications was originally performed in all cases. In one case the presence of a foreign body was not initially identified as the causal factor, and the use of complementary techniques facilitated its retrospective identification. In all cases these tools allowed a better depiction of the entire foreign bodies on a single image section, contributing to the assessment of their morphology.

CONCLUSION: Although the use of complementary techniques has not had a direct impact on diagnostic performance in most cases of this series, they may provide a better depiction of foreign bodies' morphology on a single image section.