CT scan is useful in investigating inflammatory diseases, such as appendicitis (Figure 1), diverticulitis (Figure 2), ileitis or colitis. It is also recommended for investigating intestinal sub-occlusions; to determine their cause (adhesions, obstructive neoplasia, neighboring diseases), specify their location and evaluate signs of intestinal distress. CT scans are also useful in evaluating mesenteric ischemia.
MRI plays a limited role in digestive investigation, being mainly prescribed for evaluating rectal neoplasia and its locoregional extension.
CT enterography and magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) exams are now available, capable of evaluating the small intestine mainly for patients suffering from Crohn's disease or to detect intraluminal lesions.
Digestive ultrasound is recommended for acute specific clinical problems, such as appendicitis, diverticulitis and ileitis. If positive, it proves extremely useful, but remains a relatively insensitive exam given its technical limitations in relation to the patient (patient echogenicity and morphotype, gas barrier) and its operator-dependent aspect.