The following is a summary of “Intestinal Ultrasound for the Pediatric Gastroenterologist: A Guide for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Monitoring in Children: Expert Consensus on Behalf of the International Bowel Ultrasound Group (IBUS) Pediatric Committee,” published in the February 2023 issue of Gastroenterology and Nutrition by Kellar, et al.

Chronic inflammatory bowel illnesses (IBD), including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, were frequently identified in children. A thorough surveillance plan may be able to change the course of the illness and encourage prompt, efficient treatment before permanent intestinal damage develops. The gold standard for monitoring serial colonoscopy in children, was not realistic. 

Researchers required precise, non-invasive, real-time measures of disease activity. Pediatric IBD patients in Europe, Canada, and Australia can utilize intestinal ultrasonography as a precise, noninvasive, real-time, point-of-care, cross-sectional imaging method to track inflammation. It was becoming more widely accepted in a select few academic medical facilities in the United States as a cost-effective, non-radiative, safe bedside tool utilized by the treating gastroenterologist to make decisions in real-time. 

In contrast to C-reactive protein and fecal calprotectin, which are the typical indicators of pediatric IBD activity, intestinal ultrasound (IUS) made it easier to localize the disease, describe its severity and extent, and reliably identify consequences. Most significantly, IUS may improve communication between the gastroenterologist and the patient and lessen the burden of therapy selection. The use of bedside IUS was not standardized among pediatric gastroenterologists. It was intended to lay out a standardized approach to pediatric bedside IUS, including fundamental equipment requirements and technique, patient selection, preparation, and positioning, technical considerations, and technical considerations and limitations. It also provided a suggested pediatric IUS monitoring algorithm to help with care.