Which physical exams should be performed if Crohn disease is suspected?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Examination for Crohn disease includes the following:

  • Vital signs: Normal, but possible presence of tachycardia in anemic or dehydrated patients; possible chronic intermittent fever

  • Gastrointestinal: May vary from normal to those of an acute abdomen; assess for rectal sphincter tone, gross rectal mucosal abnormalities, presence of hematochezia

  • Genitourinary: May include presence of skin tags, fistulae, ulcers, abscesses, and scarring in the perianal region; nephrolithiasis, hydronephrosis, and enterovesical fistulae

  • Musculoskeletal: Possible arthritis and arthralgia, particularly of the large joints [6]

  • Dermatologic: May show pallor or jaundice, mucocutaneous or aphthous ulcers, erythema nodosum, and pyoderma gangrenosum

  • Ophthalmologic: May reveal episcleritis; possible uveitis

  • Growth delay: Decreased growth velocity (eg, height), pubertal delay

  • Hematologic: Hypercoagulable state

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