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Keywords:

  • arteriography;
  • colonography;
  • computerized tomography;
  • intestinal transplant;
  • small bowel;
  • virtual colonoscopy

Abstract

Prior to intestinal transplantation, prospective candidates must undergo a series of radiologic examinations to address a variety of clinical issues. To date, little literature exists to guide physicians in this preoperative assessment. Multiple imaging studies can provide overlapping information. We have developed a simple two- or three-test protocol to streamline the workup. Sixteen adult patients presented as potential intestinal transplant candidates to Georgetown University Hospital. All but two patients underwent the full protocol of a biphasic IV contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis with rectal carbon dioxide, an upper gastrointestinal study with small bowel follow through, and fistulogram when appropriate. Three-dimensional (3-D) reconstructions of the vascular anatomy as well as the colon were also generated. A telephone survey to other transplant centers was additionally conducted to compare radiographic evaluations. Overall, 15 of the 16 scans were diagnostic. One patient required a barium enema. Mean examinations per patient was 2.4. Only one of seven other centers was performing CT colonography in prospective intestinal transplant candidates. Our protocol provided all the necessary anatomic information needed to evaluate prospective transplant candidates. CT colonography with angiography is a suitable alternative to more time-consuming radiological studies.