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Crohn's Disease Forum » Tests for IBD » Abdominal ultrasound


09-15-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
nogutsnoglory
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Abdominal ultrasound

Saw someone mention they had this exam on another thread to see inflammation. Never heard of this being used. How reliable is it? Certainly non invasive and no radiation.
09-15-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
Jennifer
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Its one of the best tests out there if you're pregnant. I've had a couple done before and it did show some complications going on. Not because I was pregnant, they just wanted to do every test under the sun. Other tests like a barium x-ray, CT or MRI do show a lot more but if you have issues with radiation (CT scanners can actually control the amount of radiation given and MRIs give out no radiation) or are pregnant than an ultrasound may be the way to go or at least be a starting point.
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09-15-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
DustyKat
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My children have had whole abdomen ultrasounds, plus renal and others that target specific areas. In their case it was used both as a diagnostic tool, particularly the renal ones and also because of their age, build and radiation risks.

I am two minds about their accuracy. For renal and other organs like that they were good but for picking up the issues but with the terminal ileum they were so so. I will explain...My daughter had a renal ultrasound prior to diagnosis, it picked up a problem with her kidney, hydronephrosis, and she went onto to have nuclear scanning done. It showed there was a some slowing of the kidney but otherwise structurally okay. I know it was a renal ultrasound but it failed to pick that there must have been inflamed bowel obstructing the ureter.
Then when my son was queried with Crohn's and I went in with the specific history of my daughter and her disease location, plus the doctors notes of my son's examination, a right lower quadrant mass, it failed to pick up any abnormality with the bowel. Just some free fluid of unknown significance. When my daughter's GI was contacted about the results he did not believe them and my son was sent back the following day to be redone. Sure enough on the second screening, with the radiologist in the room this time, they found what the GP was feeling, thickened terminal ileum. Once they found the problem it was very accurate at predicting the size of the area affected and the narrowing that was present.

I personally feel that if they are looking at the bowel and you have a diagnosis and know the area to target then they are a useful diagnostic tool.

Dusty.
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09-15-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
Jennifer
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I completely agree Dusty.
09-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
nogutsnoglory
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None of my doctors ever offered this to me.
09-15-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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You can request it if you want. MRIs don't give out radiation either and may show more as Dusty pointed out that if someone with less experience is running the ultrasound or simply aren't looking in the right area then something very important could be missed.
09-16-2012, 06:26 AM   #7
DustyKat
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It may be that being in New York you have other testing available to you, MRI, that we don't we have where I live, or rather didn't at the time of my son's diagnosis.

The choice we had available locally at the time was CT or Ultrasound. Ultrasound was chosen by the GP and Radiologist due to the age of my son and also his build. It was felt that due to the very small percentage of body fat he had that CT would perhaps not be as sensitive at picking up problems.

As Crabby has suggested, if imaging is required you can always request an ultrasound be done if it is appropriate and that is what you want.

Dusty. xxx
09-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #8
nogutsnoglory
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They all only suggest cat scans and SBFT's I had to request the MRI and tell them it's effective.

Definitely going to bring this up. Thanks guys. Is there any contrast for the ultrasound?
09-16-2012, 08:35 AM   #9
DustyKat
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No contrasts at all for an ultrasound. When it is abdominal it usually requires a 4 hour fast and a full bladder.

In my opinion if they suggest a SBFT to you in the future I would ask for the more recent type of test to visualise the small bowel, a CTE or MRE, the E standing for Enterograph. It was spot on for my son at identifying exactly how much of his small bowel was diseased. I know it was spot from the pathology of his surgery.

Dusty.
09-17-2012, 08:43 AM   #10
nogutsnoglory
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What's CTE? I had a MRE but does CTE involve radiation or contrast? I am allergic to regular cat contrast.
09-17-2012, 04:08 PM   #11
DustyKat
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A CTE is the Cat Scan version of the MRE, so radiation is involved.

Dusty.
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