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Evaluation of imaging findings in gastrointestinal anisakiasis in emergency CT and ultrasound.

Insights Into Imaging 2023 November 14
BACKGROUND: To assess the frequency of appearance of various signs (isolated and grouped) in emergency imaging tests in patients with anisakiasis, according to the location of gastrointestinal tract involvement.

METHODS: Retrospective review by two experienced radiologists of emergency ultrasounds and CTs performed on patients admitted in the Emergency Department of our hospital with later confirmed anisakiasis (2010-2021), assessing the presence of signs suggesting anisakiasis. Calculation of the frequency of appearance according to the gastric or intestinal location, as well as the most common grouped signs.

RESULTS: Out of 231 total patients with anisakiasis, imaging studies were performed in 144: abdominopelvic ultrasound in 43 cases and CT in 111 (both techniques in 31). In cases with gastric occurrence (34), in CT the wall stratification (100%), wall thickening (97%), fat stranding (91%) and ascitic fluid (82%) were predominant. In the intestinal cases (105), in CT (95) the wall thickening (100%), fat stranding (92%) and mesenteric vessel engorgement (83%) were usual; in ultrasound (40), ascitic fluid and wall thickening (70% in both cases) were frequently observed. The frequency of grouped appearance of the mentioned signs was 82% in gastric cases, 80% in intestinal cases and 50% in ultrasounds. Multisegment involvement in CT reached 28% (gastric + intestinal) and 11% (only intestinal) of cases.

CONCLUSIONS: The most frequent CT findings in patients with gastric anisakiasis are wall stratification and thickening, fat stranding and ascitic fluid. In the intestinal cases, wall thickening, fat oedema and vessel engorgement are the most often observed findings.

CRITICAL RELEVANCE STATEMENT: The presence of different radiological signs makes it advisable to include anisakiasis in the differential diagnosis of acute abdomen. Intestinal and multifocal involvement rates are greater than previously reported.

KEY POINTS: • In gastric anisakiasis, CT frequently shows wall stratification and thickening, fat stranding and ascitic fluid. • In intestinal anisakiasis, CT often presents wall thickening, fat stranding and vessel engorgement. • In intestinal anisakiasis, ultrasounds most frequently show ascitic fluid and wall thickening.

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