Bowel Ultrasound in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: How Far in the Grayscale?

Life (Basel). 2021 Jul 4;11(7):649. doi: 10.3390/life11070649.

Federica Furfaro 1, Arianna Dal Buono 1, Mariangela Allocca 1 2, Ferdinando D'Amico 1 2, Alessandra Zilli 1, Roberto Gabbiadini 1, Silvio Danese 1 2


Author information

  • 1IBD Center, Humanitas Research Hospital-IRCCS, 20089 Rozzano, Italy.
  • 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, 20090 Pieve Emanuele, Italy.


Bowel ultrasound (BUS) is a non-invasive and accurate technique for assessing activity, extension of disease, and complications in inflammatory bowel diseases. The main advantages of BUS are its safety, reproducibility, and low costs. Ancillary technologies of BUS (i.e., color Doppler and wave elastography) could broaden the diagnostic power of BUS, allowing one to distinguish between inflammation and fibrosis. Considering the costs and invasiveness of colonoscopy and magnetic resonance, BUS appears as a fast, safe, and accurate technique. The objective measures of disease allow one to make clinical decisions, such as optimization, switch, or swap of therapy. Previous studies reported a sensitivity and a specificity of more than 90% compared to endoscopy and magnetic resonance. Lastly, transperineal ultrasound (TPUS) is a promising approach for the evaluation of perianal disease in Crohn's disease (CD) and disease activity in patients with ulcerative proctitis or pouchitis. Bowel ultrasound is being incorporated in the algorithm of managing inflammatory bowel diseases. Transmural healing evaluated through ultrasonography is emerging as a complementary target for disease treatment. In this review, we aimed to summarize and discuss the current evidence on BUS in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases and to address the challenges of a full validation of this technique.



© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.