How to perform gastrointestinal ultrasound: Anatomy and normal findings

World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Oct 14;23(38):6931-6941. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i38.6931.


Gastrointestinal ultrasound is a practical, safe, cheap and reproducible diagnostic tool in inflammatory bowel disease gaining global prominence amongst clinicians. Understanding the embryological processes of the intestinal tract assists in the interpretation of abnormal sonographic findings. In general terms, the examination principally comprises interrogation of the colon, mesentery and small intestine using both low-frequency and high-frequency probes. Interpretation of findings on GIUS includes assessment of bowel wall thickness, symmetry of this thickness, evidence of transmural changes, assessment of vascularity using Doppler imaging and assessment of other specific features including lymph nodes, mesentery and luminal motility. In addition to B-mode imaging, transperineal ultrasonography, elastography and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography are useful adjuncts. This supplement expands upon these features in more depth.

Keywords: Guidelines; Inflammatory bowel disease; Intestinal; Teaching; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Tract / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography*