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Imaging of non-neoplastic duodenal diseases. A pictorial review with emphasis on MDCT.

A wide spectrum of abnormalities can affect the duodenum, ranging from congenital anomalies to traumatic and inflammatory entities. The location of the duodenum and its close relationship with other organs make it easy to miss or misinterpret duodenal abnormalities on cross-sectional imaging. Endoscopy has largely supplanted fluoroscopy for the assessment of the duodenal lumen. Cross-sectional imaging modalities, especially multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), enable comprehensive assessment of the duodenum and surrounding viscera. Although overlapping imaging findings can make it difficult to differentiate between some lesions, characteristic features may suggest a specific diagnosis in some cases. Familiarity with pathologic conditions that can affect the duodenum and with the optimal MDCT and MRI techniques for studying them can help ensure diagnostic accuracy in duodenal diseases. The goal of this pictorial review is to illustrate the most common non-malignant duodenal processes. Special emphasis is placed on MDCT features and their endoscopic correlation as well as on avoiding the most common pitfalls in the evaluation of the duodenum.

TEACHING POINTS: • Cross-sectional imaging modalities enable comprehensive assessment of duodenum diseases. • Causes of duodenal obstruction include intraluminal masses, inflammation and hematomas. • Distinguishing between tumour and groove pancreatitis can be challenging by cross-sectional imaging. • Infectious diseases of the duodenum are difficult to diagnose, as the findings are not specific. • The most common cause of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding is peptic ulcer disease.

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