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Sentinel loop

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Sentinel loop
Differential diagnosisacute cholecystitis, acute pancreatis

A sentinel loop is a sign seen on a radiograph that indicates localized ileus from nearby inflammation.[1] Simply put, it is the dilatation of a segment of small intestine to be differentiated from colonic cutoff sign which is a dilatation of a segment of large bowel.[citation needed]

An isolated distended loop of bowel is seen near the site of injured viscus or inflamed organ. This loop is called a "sentinel loop." It arises from the body's efforts to localize traumatic or inflammatory lesions. The local distention of that intestinal loop is due to local paralysis and accumulation of gas in the intestinal loop. In acute pancreatitis, the sentinel loop is usually seen in left hypochondrium, while in acute cholecystitis, it is seen in the right hypochondrium. In acute appendicitis, the sentinel loop is seen in right right lower quadrant.[2]


  1. ^ Brant, William E.; Helms, Clyde A. (2007). Fundamentals of Diagnostic Radiology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 742. ISBN 9780781761352. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  2. ^ Levitin, Joseph (1946). "Scout Film of the Abdomen". Radiology. Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). 47 (1): 10–29. doi:10.1148/47.1.10. ISSN 0033-8419.

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Sentinel loop
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