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World J Gastroenterol. Mar 7, 2006; 12(9): 1397-1402
Published online Mar 7, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i9.1397
Sonographic signs of neutropenic enterocolitis
Christoph F Dietrich, Stella Hermann, Stefan Klein, Barbara Braden
Christoph F Dietrich, 2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Caritas Hospital Bad Mergentheim, Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Stella Hermann, Stefan Klein, Barbara Braden, Medical Department, University Hospital, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Correspondence to: Professor. Christoph F Dietrich, 2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Caritas Hospital Bad Mergentheim, Uhlandstr. 7, D-97980 Bad Mergentheim, Germany. christoph.dietrich@ckbm.de
Telephone: +49-79-31582201 Fax: +49-79-31582290
Received: August 9, 2005
Revised: August 19, 2005
Accepted: August 26, 2005
Published online: March 7, 2006

AIM: To investigate the sonographic features at time of diagnosis and follow-up in patients with neutropenic enterocolitis.

METHODS: The sonographic findings in 14 patients with neutropenic enterocolitis were described and evaluated regarding symptoms and clinical outcome.

RESULTS: In all patients with neutropenic enterocolitis, the ileocoecal region was involved with wall thickening >10 mm. A transmural inflammatory pattern, hypervascularity of the thickened bowel wall and free abdominal fluid were the common findings. The sonographically revealed thickness of the bowel wall was associated with lethal outcome (P < 0.03). In the 11 surviving patients, the improvement of clinical symptoms was accompanied by progressive reduction of intestinal wall thickness.

CONCLUSION: High-end sonography of the bowel is a helpful tool for diagnosis, assessment of prognosis and follow-up of patients with neutropenic enterocolitis. The ultrasonographically revealed bowel thickness reflects the severity and the course of the disease, and seems to be predictive for the clinical outcome.

Keywords: Neutropenia, Bowel wall thickness, Ultrasonography