Gastrointestinal inflammation in children: Color Doppler ultrasonography

S. P. Quillin, M. J. Siegel

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53 Scopus citations


We conducted this study to determine if color Doppler ultrasonography can identify increased vascularity associated with gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions and to determine if specific diagnoses can be established based on flow patterns. Twenty-five children with acute right lower quadrant pain and discharge diagnoses of inflammatory bowel processes were examined by color Doppler sonography, as an adjunct to routine gray-scale examinations. Final diagnoses included gastroenteritis (10 cases), Crohn's disease (five cases), neutropenic colitis (four cases), peritonitis (four cases), and Yersinia enterocolitis (two cases). The results of color Doppler sonography were considered positive for inflammation if increased vascularity was demonstrated in the bowel mucosa, muscularis layer, or adjacent tissues. A control group of 19 patients was examined. No sonographic abnormalities were identified in any patients in the control group. Diffuse, concentric wall thickening with increased blood flow centrally within the mucosa was seen in Crohn's disease (60%) and Yersinia enterocolitis (100%), whereas wall thickening with increased transmural vascularity was identified in neutropenic colitis (50%) and Crohn's disease (40%). In contrast, in peritonitis color Doppler sonography showed thickened bowel wall and hypervascularity within peripheral bowel wall or in adjacent soft tissues. No demonstrable bowel vascularity was seen in gastroenteritis. Our experience suggests that mucosal or transmural hypervascularity on color Doppler sonography can be seen with several inflammatory bowel processes, but it is nonspecific. However, color Doppler sonography may aid in differentiating primary bowel disease from extrinsic inflammatory conditions, such as peritonitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-756
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1994


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