Curbside Consultation of the Colon: 49 Clinical Questions

Brooks D. Cash, MD, FACP, CDR, MC, USN

Question 40: The Emergency Room Is Calling About A Patient With Pneumatosis Coli. What Do I Need To Do? (continued)

Inku Hwang, MD

Pneumatosis coli (also known by such names as pneumatosis intestinalis, pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, and intestinal emphysema) is a condition that involves the presence of gas within the wall of the colon (Figure 40-1). The more generic term pneumatosis intestinalis implies air in either the small or large bowel. This in itself is not a diagnosis but a sign of other diseases. The exact incidence is unknown because it is often found incidentally in asymptomatic patients, but it can be found in patients of all ages.1 In children, it is most often associated with necrotizing…