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Open Access Research article

A pilot study of transrectal endoscopic ultrasound elastography in inflammatory bowel disease

Nadan Rustemovic*, Silvija Cukovic-Cavka, Marko Brinar, Davor Radić, Milorad Opacic, Rajko Ostojic and Boris Vucelic

Author Affiliations

Department of Gastroenterology University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Croatia

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BMC Gastroenterology 2011, 11:113  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-11-113

Published: 20 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Using standard diagnostic algorithms it is not always possible to establish the correct phenotype of inflammatory bowel disease which is essential for therapeutical decisions. Endoscopic ultrasound elastography is a new endoscopic procedure which can differentiate the stiffness of normal and pathological tissue by ultrasound. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the role of transrectal ultrasound elastography in distiction between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Methods

A total 30 Crohn's disease, 25 ulcerative colitis, and 28 non-inflammatory bowel disease controls were included. Transrectal ultrasound elastography was performed in all patients and controls. In all ulcerative coltis patients and 80% of Crohn's disease patients endoscopy was performed to assess disease activity in the rectum.

Results

Significant difference in rectal wall thickness and strain ratio was detected between patients with Crohn's disease and controls (p = 0.0001). CD patients with active disease had higher strain ratio than patients in remission (p = 0.02). In ulcerative colitis group a significant difference in rectal wall thickness was found between controls and patients with active disease (p = 0.03). A significant difference in rectal wall thickness (p = 0.02) and strain ratio (p = 0.0001) was detected between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patient group. Crohn's disease patients with active disease had a significantly higher strain ratio compared to ulcerative colitis patients with active disease (p = 0.0001).

Conclusion

Transrectal ultrasound elastography seems to be a promising new diagnostic tool in the field of inflammatory bowel disease. Further study on a larger cohort of patients is needed to definitely assess the role of transrectal ultrasound elastography in inflammatory bowel disease.

Keywords:
Crohn's disease; ulcerative colitis; elastography; ultrasound