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The Accuracy of Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Detecting Small Bowel Obstruction in Emergency Department

A Pourmand, U Dimbil, A Drake, H Shokoohi
Emergency Medicine International 2018, 2018: 3684081
29850250
Radiological imaging plays an essential role in the evaluation of a patient with suspected small bowel obstruction (SBO). In a few studies, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has been utilized as a primary imaging modality in patients with suspected SBO. POCUS has been shown to be an accurate tool in the diagnosis of SBO with multiple research studies noting a consistent high sensitivity with a range of 94-100% and specificity of 81-100%. Specific sonographic findings that increase the likelihood of SBO include dilatation of small bowel loops > 25 mm, altered intestinal peristalsis, increased thickness of the bowel wall, and intraperitoneal fluid accumulation. Studies also reported that emergency physicians could apply this technique with limited and short-term ultrasound training. In this article, we aim to review the sensitivity and specificity of ultrasound examinations performed by emergency physicians in patients with suspected SBO.

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