ABDOMINAL and pelvic sonography are becoming more frequently used as primary screening procedures for the evaluation of nonspecific abdominal complaints. Since barium is highly reflective to ultrasound, sonography is often performed before an upper gastrointestinal tract series or barium enema examination. Bowel lesions may therefore be initially encountered during the sonographic examination. Occasionally, sonography will afford characterization of a bowel lesion even when it cannot be established radiologically.1 In this article, the authors will discuss the sonographic appearance of bowel tumors and illustrate some clinical situations in which a bowel lesion was initially detected by ultrasound.
The patients included in this study were selected from a larger group of 35 patients who underwent surgery and whose sonograms were indicative of a bowel lesion.2 In every case, the sonogram was obtained as a screening procedure before radiological studies. A variety of bowel lesions that can be identified sonographically are