Improved diagnostic technology for Crohn's disease

The diagnostic value of CT enteroclysis is superior to conventional enteroclysis, previously considered the gold standard, as an imaging method for the evaluation of the small bowel in patients with Crohn's disease, a new study shows.

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestinal wall. Complications of Crohn's disease, such as abscesses, and stenoses, are found in approximately 40% of patients. Patients with inflammatory and some-times even obstructive small-bowel disease require prompt and accurate treatment to relieve their symptoms and to minimize the risk of potential complications.

"CT enteroclysis and conventional enteroclysis were successfully performed in all 50 patients (100%), however significantly more Crohn's disease-associated abnormalities were diagnosed with CT enteroclysis than with conventional enteroclysis," said the authors of the study.

"The big advantage of CT enteroclysis is its ability to detect complications which exist outside normal parameters of the diagnosis and identification of Crohn's disease," said Johannes Sailer, MD, lead author of the study. "Our recent study proved that CT enteroclysis can detect fistula, abscess and conglomeration tumor superior to conventional enteroclysis, with no disadvantages in the detection of minimal mucosal changes (a sign of early stage Crohn's disease)."

"CT enteroclysis can also be performed in follow up examinations of patients," said Dr. Sailer. "These results can help the clinicians in adapting their treatment and in deciding whether a surgical resection is needed."

"CT enteroclysis is an excellent technique for diagnosis of all small bowel diseases, which show morphologic changes to the bowel wall," said Dr. Sailer. "We use it for detection of bowel wall pathologies such as tumors and inflammatory changes, especially in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, as well as for the diagnosis of lymphoma and other intestinal tumors. In our department it is already a standard procedure."

"CT enteroclysis is the imaging method of choice and should replace conventional enteroclysis in patients with Crohn's disease," said the authors of the study.

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The study was done at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. It appeared in a recent issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

A PDF of the study is available upon request to reporters.

AJR Dec 2005;185:1575-1581


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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