Acute abdominal pain in patients with Crohn's disease: what urgent imaging tests should be done?

Radiologia (Engl Ed). Jul-Aug 2019;61(4):333-336. doi: 10.1016/j.rx.2018.12.003. Epub 2019 Feb 14.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Crohn's disease is an autoimmune disease that predominantly affects the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn's disease is diagnosed at a young age and runs a chronic course with acute flare-ups. When patients with Crohn's disease present with flare-ups at the emergency department, they are usually managed in a way similar to patients with acute abdomen; there is no consensus about the most appropriate imaging work-up for patients with flare-ups of Crohn's disease. Thus, we decided to review the literature about the imaging tests indicated (whether related to their diagnostic performance or to lower exposure to ionizing radiation) for acute flare-ups in patients with Crohn's disease.

Keywords: Crohn Disease; Ecografía; Emergencias; Emergency Medicine; Enfermedad de Crohn; Enfermedad inflamatoria intestinal; Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Resonancia magnética; Tomografía computarizada; Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen, Acute / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abdomen, Acute / etiology
  • Crohn Disease / complications
  • Crohn Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Emergencies
  • Humans