Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 46, Issue 9, pp 1974–1979 | Cite as

Enterotachogram Analysis to Distinguish Irritable Bowel Syndrome from Crohn's Disease

  • Brian L. Craine
  • Michael L. Silpa
  • Cynthia J. O'Toole


Crohn's disease is often initially misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. The goal of this research was to determine if computerized auscultation (fasting enterotachogram analysis) could have a role in distinguishing between these diagnoses. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and a control group were enrolled in the study. The fasting sound-to-sound interval, standard deviation of the interval, sounds per minute, and percentage time involved with bowel sounds was determined by computerized enterotachogram analysis. The mean sound-to-sound interval for the Crohn's group (1232 msecs) and the controls (1706 msecs) was significantly higher than the irritable bowel group (511 msecs, P < 0.0001). We conclude that Crohn's is not characterized by a shortened interval. The high negative predictive value of the fasting enterotachogram for irritable bowel syndrome suggests that an interval greater than 740 msecs should trigger a search for an alternative diagnosis to irritable bowel. Crohn's disease should be included in that differential.

Crohn's disease irritable bowel syndrome computerized auscultation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian L. Craine
    • 1
  • Michael L. Silpa
    • 2
  • Cynthia J. O'Toole
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Research Company, Inc.Tucson
  2. 2.Department of GastroenterologyAlameda County Medical Center (Highland Campus)Oakland

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