An abdominal CT scan performed on a patient with a small bowel obstruction may show the small bowel feces sign. It is believed to occur when there is blockage of the normal flow of small bowel contents.


Synonym: fecalization of the small bowel


The small bowel feces sign consists of amorphous mass of particulate matter mixed with gas bubbles. If the affected bowel segment is opened fecal-like material is present.


If the affected segment of small bowel shows moderate to marked dilatation, then most patients have a mechanical small bowel obstruction.


If the affected segment is not dilated or mildly dilated, then small bowel disorder without obstruction (infectious disease, metabolic disease, etc) is more likely.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.