What is the role of abdominal radiography in the diagnosis of Crohn disease?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Abdominal radiography is a nonspecific test for evaluation of IBD; however, it can useful if there is concern about obstruction or perforation. If abdominal radiographs are obtained, findings may include mural thickening and dilatation, small bowel and colonic mucosal abnormalities, and abnormal fecal distribution with areas of colonic involvement without fecal material. [65]

In patients with known Crohn disease who present with acute exacerbation, symptoms, or suspected complications, radiographs can be obtained to evaluate for the presence of bowel obstruction, perforation (free air), or toxic colon distention. [65] These conditions necessitate rapid management.

For more information, see Imaging in Crohn’s Disease.

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