Bedside Intestinal Ultrasound Predicts Disease Severity and the Disease Distribution of Pediatric Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Pilot Cross-sectional Study

Inflamm Bowel Di. 2023 May 25;izad083. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izad083. Online ahead of print.


Mallory Chavannes 1Lara Hart 2Panteha Hayati Rezvan 3Jonathan R Dillman 4D Brent Polk 5


Author information

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • 2Division of Gastroenterology, Montreal Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • 3Biostatistics Core, The Saban Research Institute, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • 4Department of Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
  • 5Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, University of California, San Diego, and Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, California, USA.


Background: Intestinal ultrasound (IUS) is a noninvasive tool to assess bowel inflammation. There is a paucity of data on its accuracy in pediatric patients.

Aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic performance of bowel wall thickness (BWT) measured using IUS compared with endoscopic disease activity in children suspected of having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Methods: We conducted a single-center cross-sectional pilot study of pediatric patients suspected to have previously undiagnosed IBD. Endoscopic inflammation was graded using segmental scores of the Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn's Disease (SES-CD) and the Ulcerative Colitis Endoscopic Index of Severity (UCEIS) and classified as having healthy, mild, or moderate/severe disease activity. Association between BWT and endoscopic severity was assessed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. The diagnostic performance of BWT to detect active disease at endoscopy was evaluated using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve; sensitivity and specificity were calculated.

Results: In all, 174 bowel segments in 33 children were assessed by IUS and ileocolonoscopy. An elevated median BWT was associated with increased bowel segment disease severity, classified by the SES-CD (P < .001) and the UCEIS (P < .01). Using a cutoff value of 1.9 mm, we found that the BWT had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.743 (95% CI, 0.67-0.82), a sensitivity of 64% (95% CI, 53%-73%), and a specificity of 76% (95% CI, 65%-85%) to detect inflamed bowel.

Conclusion: Increasing BWT is associated with increasing endoscopic activity in pediatric IBD. Our study suggests that the optimal BWT cutoff value for detecting active disease may be less than that seen in adults. Additional pediatric studies are needed.

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