The importance of intestinal ultrasound and elastographic techniques in inflammatory bowel diseases

Andreea Marin, Laura Tribus, Carmen Fierbinteanu-Braticevici

Abstract


Inflammatory bowel diseases have an important impact upon the economic and social status due to their increasing incidence and prevalence, often affecting young people. At the moment, the therapeutic goal goes beyond the improvement of symptoms and laboratory parameters, being represented by endoscopic mucosal healing, changing the disease’s natural history. Even though endoscopy is the gold standard for the assessment of mucosal healing, it is an invasive maneuver and it lacks good repeatability. These patients require frequent evaluation; therefore, interest for noninvasive techniques has risen.
As a consequence, the importance of intestinal ultrasound has increased lately and recent studies support its use to assess the degree of inflammation, to differentiate between remission and relapse, to monitor therapy response and guide treatment, to evaluate prognosis, and to diagnose complications. Another promising noninvasive imagistic technique is elastography which has gained interest because of its capacity to discriminate between inflammatory and fibrotic tissue, taking into account the different therapeutic options for the fibrotic strictures compared to inflammatory processes. This review summarizes the actual recommendations regarding the use of intestinal ultrasound and elastographic techniques for the diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory bowel diseases.


Keywords


inflammatory bowel disease; ultrasound; elastography

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-1346

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