JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Pseudomembranous colitis: diagnostic sensitivity of the abdominal plain radiograph.

We performed a retrospective study to determine the incidence of plain radiographic abnormalities in patients with pseudomembranous colitis (PMC). One hundred and fifty-two plain radiographs of the abdomen (taken within 3 days of pseudomembranous colitis diagnosis) from 152 patients with pseudomembranous colitis were reviewed. Forty-eight of 152 (32%) plain radiographs were abnormal, demonstrating: colonic ileus in 48/152 (32%), small bowel ileus in 31/152 (20%), ascites in 10/152 (7%), and nodular haustral thickening in 28/152 (18%). The distribution in 48 patients with colonic ileus included: right colon, 41/48 (86%), transverse colon, 35/48 (72%), and left colon, 26/48 (55%). Distribution in 28 patients with nodular haustral thickening included: right colon, 5/28 (18%), transverse colon, 15/28 (54%), and left colon, 14/28 (50%). Radiographic changes were non-specific in 32% of patients with changes more specific to PMC in only 18%.

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