What is the role of flexible sigmoidoscopy 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

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is useful for a preliminary diagnosis in patients with chronic diarrhea or rectal bleeding; however, because of the limited length of the scope (60 cm), it can only help diagnose distal ulcerative colitis or proctitis. Rarely, Crohn colitis can be diagnosed based on flexible sigmoidoscopy findings. Note that sigmoid inflammation, particularly in older patients, may be confused with diverticulitis or ischemia.


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