Multi-slice spiral CT evaluation of chronic radiation colitis and rectitis

Bladder Cancer

Exp Ther Med. 2020 Oct;20(4):3033-3040. doi: 10.3892/etm.2020.9069. Epub 2020 Jul 29.


The aim of the present study was to retrospectively analyse the multi-slice spiral CT (MSCT) findings of radiation colitis and rectitis (RC&R). A total of 23 cases of RC&R detected by helical CT were included. The CT findings and clinical and endoscopy data of the patients were reviewed. The primary tumours included cancers of the cervix (n=17), rectum (n=4), ovaries (n=1) and bladder (n=1). The total dose of radiation per patient was 46-60 Gy (mean, 49.7 Gy) delivered over 5 weeks. The CT manifestations included different degrees of increased thickness of the intestinal wall (n=20, 87.0%), with a maximum thickness of 16.6 mm. On enhanced CT, the target sign was observed (n=16, 69.9%), with an obviously enhanced mucosa and/or serosa and the following changes observed: Oedema and increased density of the mesentery (n=15, 65.2%); increased density of the subcutaneous fat, and blurred and oedematous pelvic wall muscles (n=4, 17.4%), with the obturator internus and levator ani muscles being most commonly affected; narrowed intestinal lumen (n=3, 13.0%); and a small amount of ascitic fluid (n=2, 8.7%) located in the paracolic sulci and bladder or Douglas pouch. The 23 patients underwent colonoscopy and were diagnosed with RC&R. The major manifestations included telangiectasia and mucosal hyperaemia (n=21, 91.3%). MSCT of chronic RC&R (CRC&R) was associated with certain characteristic findings, which, combined with a medical history of radiotherapy and the clinical manifestations, may prove to be of value in the diagnosis of CRC&R.