A nonspecific bowel gas pattern is a description often seen on a radiology report on an abdominal X-ray and it means the bowel has some gas in it.
- The reason for the gas is unclear on the X-ray, and it may be normal or abnormal.
- Gas is common throughout the gastrointestinal tract and most of the time it is of no clinical significance.
- Abdominal X-rays cannot identify all problems. When a doctor sees a radiology report with a “nonspecific bowel gas pattern” it usually means additional testing such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan may be needed to determine the cause of the symptoms.
What Are Symptoms of Nonspecific Bowel Gas Pattern?
A nonspecific bowel gas pattern is a radiologic finding and not a condition in itself, however, when patients present to a physician with certain symptoms, an abdominal X-ray may be ordered.
Symptoms that may warrant the need for an abdominal X-ray include:
What Causes Nonspecific Bowel Gas Pattern?
Gas is commonly seen throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Normal causes of a nonspecific bowel gas pattern may include:
Abnormal causes of a nonspecific bowel gas pattern may include:
- Hiatal hernia
- Obstruction (either stomach or duodenal)
- Neurogenic bowel dysfunction
- Surgical complications
- A mass/tumor (often due to scirrhous carcinoma or lymphoma)
- Diminished or absent wave-like muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract (peristalsis)
- Adynamic ileus
- Toxic megacolon
- Ischemic colitis
What Is the Treatment for Nonspecific Bowel Gas Pattern?
A nonspecific bowel gas pattern is a radiologic finding, and not a condition in itself, so it does not usually require treatment. If a nonspecific bowel gas pattern is found, it often means additional testing may be needed to determine the cause of the symptoms.
- If the cause of the nonspecific bowel gas pattern is normal, no treatment is needed.
- If the cause of the nonspecific bowel gas pattern is abnormal, treatment varies and depends on the cause.
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