Bowel wall thickening in children: Differentiation with US

Marilyn J. Siegel, Jeffrey A. Friedland, Charles F. Hildebolt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine whether vascular, ischemic, and inflammatory causes of bowel wall thickening in children can be differentiated at gray- scale and color Doppler ultrasonography (us). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty seven children with acute bowel disease underwent graded compression US. Findings of bowel wall thickness, wall echotexture, location of bowel involvement, and presence of color Doppler flow were evaluated. Diagnoses were classified as inflammation (n = 25), vasculitis (n = 7), or ischemia (n = 5) and were confirmed with findings from colonoscopy and biopsy, stool culture analysis, surgery, and cutaneous biopsy, and with a combination of clinical and laboratory data. RESULTS: Patient age (P = .0022), bowel wall thickness (P = .0001), and color Doppler flow (P = .0013) were statistically significantly related to disease type. Wall thickening and absence of visible color Doppler flow suggested ischemia. Older patient age and visible color Doppler flow suggested inflammation, whereas younger patient age and visible color flow suggested vasculitis. Difference in location of bowel disease in patients with ischemic versus those with vascular wall thickening was statistically significant (P = .0185). No difference was found between disease type and wall stratification. CONCLUSION: Gray-scale and color Doppler flow US can aid in differentiating ischemic, vascular, and inflammatory bowel wall thickening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-635
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1997


  • Colitis
  • Colitis, pseudomembranous
  • Crohn disease
  • Gastrointestinal tract, US
  • Gastrointestinal tract, diseases
  • Ultrasound (US), in infants and children


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