Shock bowel is the appearance of the bowel in a state of hypotension.  It is usually seen as part of the CT hypoperfusion complex.

Radiographic features

  • thickened bowel loops (>3 mm) with enhancing walls (the reason the condition was previously known as "shock bowel")
  • on non-contrasted images, hyperdense walls compared to the psoas muscle 
  • wall thickening is due to submucosal edema
  • hyperenhancing mucosa
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