ULTRASOUNDS IN IBD
Ultrasound is a technique that does not involve radiation. It is not as helpful to evaluate the small intestine and large intestine (also known as the colon) as a CT or MRI unless contrast is given. Contrast can outline inflammation at the junction of the small and large intestine and the area just above it. This small intestine contrast ultrasound (SICUS) is used in Europe but takes special training and does not define the intestinal structures as well as an MRI. Routine ultrasound is useful, however, in looking at the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and pancreas as long as the patient is not excessively overweight or full of gas.
An endoscopic ultrasound is where the pictures are created from the inside going out rather than the outside going in. This technique is particularly use in the rectum when trying to define and treat fistula tracts.
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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