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Evaluation of inflammatory activity in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Author(s): Eduardo Garcia Vilela | Henrique Osvaldo da Gama Torres | Fabiana Paiva Martins | Maria de Lourdes de Abreu Ferrari | Marcella Menezes Andrade | Aloísio Sales da Cunha

Journal: World Journal of Gastroenterology
ISSN 1007-9327

Volume: 18;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 872;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Crohn’s disease | Ulcerative colitis | Inflammatory bowel disease | Diagnostic test | Therapy | Inflammatory markers

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis evolve with a relapsing and remitting course. Determination of inflammatory state is crucial for the assessment of disease activity and for tailoring therapy. However, no simple diagnostic test for monitoring intestinal inflammation is available. Noninvasive markers give only indirect assessments of disease activity. Histopathological or endoscopical examinations accurately assess inflammatory activity, but they are invasive, time consuming and expensive and therefore are unsuitable for routine use. Imaging procedures are not applicable for ulcerative colitis. The usefulness of ultrasound and Doppler imaging in assessing disease activity is still a matter of discussion for Crohn’s disease, and an increased interest in computed tomography enterograph (CTE) has been seen, mainly because it can delineate the extent and severity of bowel wall inflammation, besides detecting extraluminal findings. Until now, the available data concerning the accuracy of magnetic resonance enterography in detecting disease activity is less than CTE. Due to this, clinical activity indices are still commonly used for both diseases.
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