Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is one of the most perplexing clinical situations encountered by a surgeon in the emergency room. The decision to operate or not depends upon many factors including the probable cause and chances of bowel strangulation/ischemia. The clinical, biochemical and radiological features help the surgeon in making this decision. Plain X-rays have been the mainstay in the radiological diagnosis of SBO and its complications. In the last 20 years, CT scan has ushered in a revolution in establishing the diagnosis of SBO, its causes and complications earlier than the traditional methods and has helped in reducing morbidity and mortality. Here, we have summarised the role of multidetector CT scan in diagnosing various aspects of SBO.
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