Modern imaging using computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) AU1

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2004 Jan;10(1):45-54. doi: 10.1097/00054725-200401000-00008.


Radiologic imaging--especially of the small bowel--plays an important role in the diagnosis and management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The radiographic examination of the small intestine with barium either as enteroclysis or as small bowel follow through are still the mainstays in small bowel imaging. However, abdominal CT or MRI, which has the advantage of not utilizing ionizing radiation, or the techniques of CT- or MR-enteroclysis, are overall comparable with regard to the sensitivity and specificity in detecting intestinal pathologies and have already replaced the conventional techniques in centers dedicated to the management of inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, these cross-sectional imaging techniques provide, in a sense, a "one stop abdominal imaging workup," the diagnosis of extraluminal disease manifestations or complications. Future developments of CT- or MR-based virtual colonography and endoscopy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease are currently being investigated, but should momentarily be considered as purely experimental approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colonoscopy
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*