Radiologic Manifestations of Chronic Constipation in CT Scan


avatar Hossein Ahrar 1 , * , avatar Mehdi Karami 1

Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran

how to cite: Ahrar H, Karami M. Radiologic Manifestations of Chronic Constipation in CT Scan. Innov J Radiol. 2014;11(30th Iranian Congress of Radiology):e21285.



Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the general population. Given the long transit time of fecal material and abnormal aggregation of feces in the colon in chronic constipation, some anatomical changes such as increase in diameter or elongation of the colonic segments may be expected. Sometimes in abdominal radiological examinations, like CT scans that were performed for any clinical reason, these changes are evident.


The question is whether they are normal variations or secondary to chronic constipation. In the literature review, we did not find any clear answer to this question. This problem encouraged us to set up a new study to clarify the answer.

Patients and Methods:

This was a comparative cross sectional study. We studied 86 patients, in whom abdominopelvic CT scan was performed for any reason with a 64-detector MDCT. According to the Rome-III criteria, the patients were assigned to the constipated (33 patients) and non-constipated groups. The colon was surveyed by a radiologist in axial, coronal and sagittal sections, and the maximum diameter of every portion of colon and evidences of colonic elongation were recorded.


There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of age (P = 0.105), height (P = 0.239), weight (P = 0.220), the maximum diameter of ascending (P = 0.227), descending (P = 0.136) and transverse colon (P = 0.613) and rectum (P = 0.712).


Based on the results of this study, the diagnosis of constipation may not be drawn from anatomic changes of colon in radiologic studies.

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