Gastrointestinal ultrasound (GIUS) has been used increasingly for monitoring inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of GIUS in assessing disease activity in Crohn’s disease (CD).
Consecutive patients with CD (diagnosis established for at least 6 months) between July 2017 and July 2018 requiring assessment of disease activity were prospectively assessed by magnetic resonance enterography, colonoscopy (CS), and GIUS within a 2-week period and without any change in ongoing treatment. Features on GIUS which correlated with disease activity were assessed. Sensitivity and specificity of the GIUS in assessing disease activity and localization were calculated.
Thirty-five patients were enrolled in the study. Bowel wall thickness (BWT) ≥ 3 mm and Doppler activity ≥ 2 had the highest sensitivity (100% and 95.6%, respectively) for detecting active disease on CS. BWT ≥ 3 mm had sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 100%, 83.3%, 92%, and 100%, respectively for assessing active disease. Combination of median BWT, Doppler activity, and loss of bowel wall stratification correlated with simplified endoscopic score (SES) for CD (r = 0.8, p 0.009) and Harvey-Bradshaw index (HBI, r = 0.76, p 0.04). For localizing active disease in the ileum, GIUS had a sensitivity of 93.7%, 80% for lesions in the right colon, 100% for transverse colon, and 89% for the left colon. Specificity was 100% for ileal and colonic lesions.
Loss of stratification, BWT, and Doppler activity in the bowel wall correlate with endoscopic and clinical disease activity in CD. GIUS is a sensitive modality in assessing disease activity in CD.