Small Bowel Ultrasound beyond Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Updated Review of the Recent Literature

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2017 Sep;43(9):1741-1752. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2017.04.028. Epub 2017 Jul 11.


The use of bowel ultrasonography (US) for the evaluation of gut diseases has increased in recent years and has been proven to provide a widely available, non-invasive and inexpensive method for the initial work-up and follow-up of different intestinal diseases, limited mostly by technical challenges posed by the patient's anatomy. The present review aims to provide an extensive overview of the main pathologic features at US examination of intestinal diseases other than inflammatory bowel disease, both acute (e.g., acute appendicitis, colonic diverticulitis, infectious diseases and ischemic conditions) and chronic (e.g., celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and other enterocolites). The identification of typical US features may help in the diagnostic process and guide the treatment approach. Therefore, the application of knowledge of the US appearance of gastrointestinal diseases is of relevance in enabling greater diagnostic performance and better patient management.

Keywords: Appendicitis; Bowel ultrasound; Celiac disease; Diverticular disease; Gastrointestinal disease; Imaging; Intestinal ischemia; Intestinal neoplasm; Small intestine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
  • Intestines / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*