GI Radiology > Stomach > Other Conditions > Dilatation

Other Conditions

Gastric Dilatation

Acute gastric dilatation is a common radiographic finding in the presence of mechanical gastric outlet obstruction. However, gastric dilatation can occur as a functional abnormality in the absence of obstruction and is believed to be the result of a reflex paralysis of the neuromuscular system. Acute gastric dilatation as such can be idiopathic or associated with diabetes (gastric neuropathy), surgery (gastric bypass), blunt trauma, or acute pancreatitis. Acute dilatation may lead to vascular compromise and requires emergent decompression.

Radiographic Findings:

  • Gastric dilatation without evidence of obstruction
  • Gastric emphysema: linear streaks of gas within the stomach wall
An abdominal plainfilm from a 41 year-old female with nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distension demonstrates prominent gastric dilatation. Note that the stomach extends into the pelvis. A nasogastric tube was placed with prompt decompression and resolution of symptoms.

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