Ultrasound

Ultrasound

Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is an examination technique that uses high frequency sound waves emitted from a handheld probe to produce images of the inside of the body. As the probe is dragged across the area of interest (i.e., abdomen), high frequency emissions bounce of tissues and organs and are picked up by the scanner, which produces an image. This is a very useful tool in IBD as it is a non-invasive means of examining:

  • Thickening of the bowel (i.e., due to inflammation)
  • Strictures (narrowing of the bowel)
  • Fistulas (abnormal passages between organs/skin)
  • Abscess (inflamed, puss-filled cavities)

The procedure involves lying on ones back, allowing access to the abdominal area. A water-based gel is applied, which prevents air from interfering with the transmissionof sound waves into the abdomen. It is a brief procedure and, unlike CT/CTE scans or X-ray, does not expose the patient to ionising radiation

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
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Bone density scanning (DEXA)