Research Articles

A review of the radiological imaging modalities of non-traumatic small bowel obstruction

Narisha Maharaj, Bhugwan Singh
South African Family Practice | Vol 57, No 3 : May/June| a4057 | DOI: | ©
Submitted: 15 April 2014 | Published: 01 May 2015

About the author(s)

Narisha Maharaj, Department of Radiology, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, King Edward VIII Hospital, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Bhugwan Singh, Department of Surgery, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Full Text:



Small bowel obstruction is a common clinical presentation that presents a diagnostic conundrum. Over the last 2 decades, there has been a paradigm shift in the radiological investigation of small bowel obstruction (SBO) and in the indication for and timing of surgical intervention. Cross-sectional imaging (predominantly computed tomography) has largely replaced the widespread use of radiographic small bowel follow-through studies as the imaging modality of choice for SBO. This article illustrates the current imaging modalities available for diagnosis of small bowel obstruction.


computed tomography; enteroclysis; intussusception; radiology of bowel obstruction; small intestinal obstruction


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