Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pneumatosis Cystoides Intestinalis

Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, also known as cystic pneumatosis coli, is the primary form of pneumatosis intestinalis, and accounts for 15% of the cases of pneumatosis intestinalis. It is a benign, idiopathic condition characterized by multiple thin-walled submucosal or subserosal gas-filled cysts mostly on the mesenteric border. The cysts contain mainly hydrogen and occur mostly in the descending and sigmoid colon.

Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis is usually an incidental finding; however, the cysts may protrude into the lumen and mimic polyps or carcinomas on barium enema.


  • Florin TH. Alkyl halides, super hydrogen production and the pathogenesis of pneumatosis cystoides coli. Gut. 1997 Dec;41(6):778-84.
  • Pickhardt PJ, Kim DH, Taylor AJ. Asymptomatic pneumatosis at CT colonography: a benign self-limited imaging finding distinct from perforation. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008 Feb;190(2):W112-7.

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