Diagnostic Accuracy of Transabdominal Ultrasound in Detecting Intestinal Inflammation in Paediatric IBD Patients - A Systematic Review

Elsa A. Van Wassenaer, Floris A.E. De Voogd, Rick R. Van Rijn, Johanna H. Van Der Lee, Merit M. Tabbers, Faridi S. Van Etten-Jamaludin, Krisztina B. Gecse, Angelika Kindermann, Tim G.J. De Meij, Geert R. D'Haens, Marc A. Benninga, Bart G.P. Koot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Currently used non-invasive tools for monitoring children with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD], such as faecal calprotectin, do not accurately reflect the degree of intestinal inflammation and do not provide information on disease location. Ultrasound [US] might be of added value. This systematic review aimed to assess the diagnostic test accuracy of transabdominal US in detecting intestinal inflammation in children with IBD in both diagnostic and follow-up settings. Methods: We systematically searched PubMed, Embase [Ovid], Cochrane Library, and CINAHL [EBSCO] databases for studies assessing diagnostic accuracy of transabdominal US for detection of intestinal inflammation in patients diagnosed or suspected of IBD, aged 0-18 years, with ileo-colonoscopy and/or magnetic resonance enterography [MRE] as reference standards. Studies using US contrast were excluded. Risk of bias was assessed with QUADAS-2. Results: The search yielded 276 records of which 14 were included. No meta-analysis was performed, because of heterogeneity in study design and methodological quality. Only four studies gave a clear description of their definition for an abnormal US result. The sensitivity and specificity of US ranged from 39-93% and 90-100% for diagnosing de novo IBD, and 48-93% and 83-93% for detecting active disease during follow-up, respectively. Conclusions: The diagnostic accuracy of US in detecting intestinal inflammation as seen on MRE and/or ileo-colonoscopy in paediatric IBD patients remains inconclusive, and there is currently no consensus on defining an US result as abnormal. Prospective studies with adequate sample size and methodology are needed before US can be used in the diagnostics and monitoring of paediatric IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1509
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • diagnostic accuracy
  • monitoring
  • paediatric inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ultrasound


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