Colon cut-off sign

Colon cut-off sign describes gaseous distension seen in proximal colon associated with narrowing of the splenic flexure in cases of acute pancreatitis. Though originally described in abdominal radiographs, this sign has also been demonstrated in contrast enemas and computed tomography 1.

This appearance results from inflammatory process extending from the pancreas into the phrenicocolic ligament via the transverse mesocolon 1.

Differential diagnosis

The colon cutoff sign can also be seen in:

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Article information

rID: 19480
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Colonic cut-off sign
  • Colon cutoff sign

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: radiograph
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  • Case 1: CT
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