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CT patterns of splenic infarction: a clinical and experimental study.

Radiology 1984 June
The computed tomographic (CT) appearance of splenic infarction has classically been described as peripheral, wedge-shaped, and low in density. Two investigations were designed to determine the appearance of splenic infarcts: (a) a clinical study of 12 patients and (b) a canine experimental model. In the clinical study, two previously undescribed patterns of splenic infarction were found. The classic peripheral, wedge-shaped defects were seen in four patients; multiple, heterogeneous lesions were seen in five; and massive hypodense lesions were noted in three. In three of the nine patients who had both precontrast and postcontrast CT scans, the unenhanced images alone would not have permitted the diagnosis. Contrast enhancement markedly improved infarct visualization in the remaining six. The experimental study of splenic infarction in dogs indicated that CT images can accurately depict the various phases of an infarct as it evolves through stages of congestion, hemorrhage, inflammation, organization, and fibrosis. In addition, a new contrast material--liposome-encapsulated diatrizoate--was used in one of the dogs and was found to produce greater and more sustained differences between normal and abnormal tissue than did conventional contrast material.

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