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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


MARTINEZ ARES, D. et al. Usefulness of digestive ultrasonography in assessment of ulcerative colitis extent. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2007, vol.99, n.7, pp.382-387. ISSN 1130-0108.

Introduction: a full examination of the colon should be avoided upon finding severe endoscopic lesions in patients with ulcerative colitis. However, knowledge of the precise extent of disease is quite important for disease prognosis and the making of therapeutic decisions. Therefore, any validation of a non-invasive technique to assess the extent of ulcerative colitis gains a lot of interest and importance. Material and method: the study included patients that were previously diagnosed of having ulcerative colitis or were beginning to suffer from the disease. A prospective and blind evaluation was carried out to determine the precision of digestive ultrasonography in assessment of ulcerative colitis extent. All ultrasonography was carried out by the same person and was always performed prior to carrying out a full endoscopic study, which is used as the gold standard. The hydrocolonic ultrasonograpy technique was not used in any of the cases. Results: a total of 20 patients -13 males (65%) and 7 females (35%), with an average age of 51.7 years (aged between 24-82 years)- were included in the study. Endoscopic studies revealed severe disease in 5 cases (25%), moderate disease in 12 patients (60%), and mild lesions in the 3 remaining cases (15%). A colonic ultrasonogram was considered satisfactory in 18 cases (90%), and the extent of disease as established by ultrasonography was in all cases consistent with that established through colonoscopy: 3 patients (16.6%) had ulcerative proctitis, 9 patients (50%) had left-sided ulcerative colitis, and 6 (33.3%) had extensive colitis. Conclusions: digestive ultrasonography allows to study the colon in most patients, especially when inflammatory activity is present, and provides a greater accuracy in assessing ulcerative colitis extent, which is independent of its activity level.

Keywords : Ulcerative colitis; Diagnosis; Extent; Ultrasonography; Endoscopy.

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