Adult Crohn disease: can ileoscopy replace small bowel radiology?
Background: This study aimed to document the radiological features and distribution of small bowel Crohn disease (CD) in adults by using a barium follow-through (BaFT) technique and to determine whether disease would be missed or its distribution underestimated if only colonoscopy with ileoscopy were performed.
Methods: The BaFT examinations of 121 adults with proven CD were reviewed retrospectively with respect to the stage and distribution of disease. Colonoscopy with attempted ileoscopy was performed in 37 of these subjects, and the results were compared with radiological findings.
Results: A normal villous pattern was visualized in 89 studies (74%). BaFT showed small bowel CD in 71 (59%) of 121 patients studied. The terminal ileum (TI) was the most common site of disease, affecting 62 (87%) of patients with small bowel CD. Forty-six patients (65%) had more proximal small bowel disease, including nine (13%) with a normal TI. BaFT showed early mucosal changes of CD in 52 subjects (73%), which was the sole manifestation in 15 (21%). Ileoscopy was possible in the majority of patients colonoscoped but was not achieved in 14 (38%), nine of whom had CD on BaFT. Of the 23 patients in whom ileoscopy was performed, findings agreed with BaFT assessment of the TI in 22.
Conclusion: BaFT adequately demonstrates the stage and extent of small bowel CD. The majority of patients with small bowel CD have disease proximal to the TI, which cannot be diagnosed by ileoscopy.
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