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Use of small bowel imaging for the diagnosis and staging of Crohn's disease-a survey of current UK practice

Hafeez, R; Greenhalgh, R; Rajan, J; Bloom, S; McCartney, S; Halligan, S; Taylor, SA; (2011) Use of small bowel imaging for the diagnosis and staging of Crohn's disease-a survey of current UK practice. BRIT J RADIOL , 84 (1002) 508 - 517. 10.1259/bjr/65972479.

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Objectives: This study used a postal survey to assess the current use of small bowel imaging investigations for Crohn's disease within National Health Service (NHS) radiological practice and to gauge gastroenterological referral patterns.Methods: Similar questionnaires were posted to departments of radiology (n=240) and gastroenterology (n=254) identified, by the databases of the Royal College of Radiologists and British Society of Gastroenterologists. Questionnaires enquired about the use of small bowel imaging in the assessment of Crohn's disease. In particular, questionnaires described clinical scenarios including first diagnosis, disease staging and assessment of suspected extraluminal complications, obstruction and disease flare. The data were stratified according to patient age.Results: 63 (27%) departments of radiology (20 in teaching hospitals and 43 in district general hospitals (DGHs)) and 73 (29%) departments of gastroenterology replied. These departments were in 119 institutions. Of the 63 departments of radiology, 55 (90%) routinely performed barium follow-though (BaFT), 50 (80%) CT, 29 (46%) small bowel ultrasound (SbUS) and 24 (38%) small bowel MRI. BaFT was the most commonly used investigation across all age groups and indications. SbUS was used mostly for patients younger than 40 years of age with low index of clinical suspicion for Crohn's disease (in 44% of radiology departments (28/63)). MRI was most frequently used in patients under 20 years of age for staging new disease (in 27% of radiology departments (17/63)) or in whom obstruction was suspected (in 29% of radiology departments (18/63)). CT was preferred for suspected extraluminal complications or obstruction (in 73% (46/63) and 46% (29/63) of radiology departments, respectively). Gastroenterological referrals largely concurred with the imaging modalities chosen by radiologists, although gastroenterologists were less likely to request SbUS and MRI.Conclusion: BaFT remains the mainstay investigation for luminal small bowel Crohn's disease, with CT dominating for suspected extraluminal complications. There has been only moderate dissemination of the use of MRI and SbUS.

Type: Article
Title: Use of small bowel imaging for the diagnosis and staging of Crohn's disease-a survey of current UK practice
DOI: 10.1259/bjr/65972479
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/265619
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