What is the role of CT scanning in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Findings on computed tomography (CT) scanning of the abdomen and pelvis may be very suggestive of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Bowel wall thickening on CT scans is nonspecific and may occur from smooth muscle contraction alone, especially in the absence of other extraintestinal inflammatory changes; however, the presence of inflammatory changes (eg, mesenteric fat stranding, wall enhancement, increased vascularity ["comb sign"]) significantly increases the predictive value of the CT scan.


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