Abdominal CT is a commonly used tool in medical practice. It is frequently used for the study of lesions of solid organs as well as of the gastrointestinal tract. The duodenum is a small portion of it and is often overlooked in the analysis of the pathology.
Educational Goals / Teaching Points
Recognize the imaging modalities used to represent and characterize duodenal diseases.
Describe the characteristic imaging findings of duodenal processes.
Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Most conventional abdominal CT scans are obtained with the use of low-attenuation oral contrast material to delineate the gastrointestinal tract. When there is suspicion of a duodenal lesion, several techniques can be used to optimize imaging of this commonly overlooked structure. Large amounts of oral contrast material are helpful in opacifying the duodenum, and bicarbonate granules, through the release of carbon dioxide, can distend the stomach and duodenum.
The duodenum is frequently overlooked during interpretation of abdominal CT examinations. Knowledge about techniques for optimal imaging of the duodenum and about diseases and congenital anomalies that affect it can result in increased diagnostic yield of abdominal CT.