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    IBD imaging

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic idiopathic disease in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It encompasses two interrelated intestinal disorders; Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). It is generally accepted that IBD results from an excessive immune reaction to to gut luminal microbes. It occurs in genetically susceptible individuals but is triggered by exposure to environmental risk factors.

    Clinical manifestations of UC include diarrhea, with or without blood, abdominal pain, tenesmus, and fecal urgency.

    IBD Imaging allows access to small bowel sections that would otherwise be inaccessible.

    IBD imaging is used to:

    • distinguish between UC and CD, and determine the extent of disease.
    • Assess and track the progression of IBD manifestations outside the intestine
    • Visualize disease complications outside the bowel wall
    • Assess disease activity during symptomatic recurrence

    In the past, all this was achieved with barium fluoroscopic techniques; But cross-sectional imaging techniques (CT and MRI) are phasing these techniques out, thanks to their ability to access both extramural and mural IBD manifestations – at the same time.

    CT can perform rapid, high-resolution evaluation of all the abdomen and pelvis in just a few seconds. In CT enterography, intravenous contrast material administration enables the performance of enteral contrast distension of the small bowel.

    MRE, in contrast, is a minimally invasive, non-ionizing radiation diagnostic technique. It can nonthelss obtain multiplanar diagnostic information about intra and extra mural involvement of the small bowel in IBD. Given the need for frequent re-evaluation of disease activity in IBD and concern with cumulative ionizing radiation, MRE is increasingly used in lieu of CTE – at some cost to sensitivity.

    Contact MERKEL today to learn about the latest developments in IBD imaging and explore your options in acquiring the device best suited to fill the needs of your institution.

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