Purpose. The aim of our study was to review CT findings concerning secondary aorto-enteric fistulae (AEF). In particular, we aimed to evaluate signs of contrast medium extravasation from the aortic graft into the bowel (active bleeding), in correlation with clinical and surgical reports. Materials and methods. Clinical and CT findings were retrospectively evaluated in 13 surgically proven cases of AEF. All patients underwent spiral CT examination with biphasic contrast technique, before and 30 and 80 seconds after intravenous injection of 120-150 ml of contrast medium (Ultravist 370; flow rate 2.5-3 ml/sec). Late scans (240 seconds) were also acquired on surgical anastomoses. We used 3 mm (arterial phase) and 5 mm (venous phase) slices. Results. At surgery, all 13 patients presented a communication between the bowel and the aortic graft. At CT examination, all 13 patients presented one or more CT signs indicating AEF (perigraft soft tissue, perigraft fluid, ectopic air or bowel wall thickening). Moreover, in 6 out of 13 patients, contrast medium extravasation from the aortic graft into the small bowel (active bleeding) was detected with CT. Detection of active bleeding was possible because CT examinations were performed without oral administration of contrast medium. Conclusions. CT is easily and readily available and provides an accurate evaluation of the aorta and surrounding retroperitoneal tissues. In our study we were able to identify the CT sign of active bleeding in more than a half of the patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding (66%). Hence, we suggest that patients undergo CT examination without oral contrast medium administration in order to better appreciate the presence of active bleeding.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging