Value of virtual computed tomographic colonography for Crohn's colitis: comparison with endoscopy and barium enema

Abdom Imaging. 2003 Nov-Dec;28(6):778-83. doi: 10.1007/s00261-003-0023-0.


Background: Crohn's colitis, frequently accompanied by stenosis or narrowing, can be difficult to assess through conventional methods. We evaluated the usefulness of virtual computed tomographic colonography (CTC) for the detection of colonic lesions due to Crohn's disease.

Methods: Forty-two lesions in 33 patients with Crohn's disease were examined by CTC and barium enema (BE). Twenty-two patients also were examined by colonoscopy (CS). The visualization ability of CTC was compared with those of the other two methods.

Results: In the visualization of elevated lesions, there was no significant difference between CTC and BE (18 of 20, p = 0.487) or between CTC and CS (15 of 16, p = 0.99); however, ulcerative lesions were less often visualized by CTC. However, CTC enabled identification of serious lesions in the colon proximal to the stenosis in nine patients and was superior to BE and CS in terms of its ability to visualize the proximal site of the stenosis (p = 0.003).

Conclusion: CTC is clinically useful for the evaluation of Crohn's colitis, especially those with stenotic lesions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Barium Sulfate*
  • Colonography, Computed Tomographic*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Contrast Media
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Enema
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male


  • Contrast Media
  • Barium Sulfate