Identification of the distinguishing features of Crohn’s disease and ischemic colitis using computed tomographic enterography

Min Chen, Erick M. Remer, Xiuli Liu, Rocio Lopez, Bo Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and aims: The differential diagnosis between Crohn’s disease (CD) and ischemic colitis (ISC) is important as their clinical management is different. ISC can easily be misdiagnosed as CD, especially in elderly populations. The distinctive radiographic features of the two disease entities have not been investigated. The aim of this study is to assess the utility of computed tomographic enterography (CTE) in the differential diagnosis between CD and ISC. Methods: Patients with confirmed CD and ISC were identified through an electronic medical record search of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Patients who had undergone CTE, with or without concurrent colonoscopy and histopathological specimens, were included in this study. CTE images were blindly re-reviewed by an expert gastrointestinal radiologist. The sensitivities, specificities, accuracies and positive and negative predictive values for each of the CTE findings in differentiating CD from ISC were estimated. Kappa coefficients (κ) were calculated to measure diagnosis agreement between CTE and the reference standard. Results: A total of 34 eligible patients were included in this study with 17 having CD and 17 having ISC. In differentiating CD from ISC, the presence of mucosal hyperenhancement and absence of the “target sign” on CTE showed a sensitivity of 100% each for CD, while the two radiographic features yielded a low specificity of 35.3% and 76.5%, respectively. The presence of stricture had a lower sensitivity of 64.7% for the detection of CD but had a high specificity of 100%. In distinguishing CD from ISC, the accuracy of presence of mucosal hyperenhancement, stricture and absence of target sign were 67.7%, 82.4% and 88.2%, respectively. The combination of the presence of mucosal hyperenhancement and the absence of the target sign achieved an accuracy of 100% for distinguishing CD from ISC. There was a good correlation between CTE and the reference standard for distinguishing CD from ISC (j ¼ 0.882). Conclusions: CTE appeared to be clinically useful in distinguishing CD from ISC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalGastroenterology Report
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Computed tomographic enterography
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Ischemic colitis


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of the distinguishing features of Crohn’s disease and ischemic colitis using computed tomographic enterography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this