What are the limitations of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (UC)?

Updated: Apr 23, 2019
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Visualization of the upper abdomen and the bowel, in particular, is frequently compromised by the presence of gas within the bowel. To a certain extent, this may be overcome by performing US examinations in the morning, when bowel gas is at a minimum. Water may be used to distend the colon and thereby provide an acoustic window, but many people swallow air when drinking, which may cause further artifacts.

US measurements of bowel wall thickness offer a simple, noninvasive technique for monitoring IBD in children. Thickened and hypervascularized bowel wall are characteristic findings in cases of IBD. A combination of B-mode and power Doppler US offers an additional noninvasive procedure for the determination of activity in patients with IBD.

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