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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 28, Issue 7, Pages 391-395
Original Article

Small Bowel Obstruction Following Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Enterography Using Psyllium Seed Husk As an Oral Contrast Agent

Yingming Amy Chen,1 Patrick Cervini,2 Anish Kirpalani,1 Paraskevi A Vlachou,1 Samir C Grover,3 and Errol Colak1

1Department of Medical Imaging, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada
2Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Windsor Regional Hospital – Ouellette Campus, Windsor, Canada
3Division of Gastroenterology, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Received 8 March 2014; Accepted 3 April 2014

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The authors report a case series describing four patients who developed small bowel obstruction following the use of psyllium seed husk as an oral contrast agent for computed tomography or magnetic resonance enterography. Radiologists who oversee computed tomography and magnetic resonance enterography should be aware of this potential complication when using psyllium seed husk and other bulking agents, particularly when imaging patients with known or suspected small bowel strictures or active inflammation.