Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic transmural inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by episodes of inflammation alternating with periods of remission. Unenhanced grey-scale ultrasound may evaluate the localisation and the length of the affected intestinal segments and may detect transmural complications, including fistulas, abscesses and phlegmons, but it is less accurate to assess the CD activity. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound has become an important imaging modality in patients with CD for the grading of disease activity, the differentiation between small bowel stricture due to inflammation or mural fibrosis, and for the assessment of the response to specific therapy. New dedicated software packages allow the accurate quantification of the enhancement within the small bowel wall after microbubble contrast agent injection to obtain different kinetic semi-quantitative parameters-the percentage of the maximal enhancement, the time-to-the peak enhancement, and the area under the time-intensity curve-which are very useful to differentiate the inflammatory oedema from fibrosis and to differentiate responders from non-responders to the specific therapy among patients with CD.
- Contrast Media
- Crohn Disease
- Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
- Intestine, Small