Case of the Month: March, 2012, Page 3

Answer: D. The large bowel may be edematous. Although it is true that no free air is seen on this study, the loops of bowel depicted are of the colon, not the small bowel. This is a good example of “thumbprinting,” i.e. the appearance of thumbs protruding into the intestinal lumen. This appearance is caused by thickened edematous haustral folds, a nonspecific sign.

Question: Which of the following processes are LEAST likely to demonstrate “thumbprinting” on abdominal radiograph?

  1. Pseudomembraneous colitis.
  2. Portal hypertension.
  3. Ulcerative colitis.
  4. Diverticulosis.
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