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Clin Radiol. 2003 Jan;58(1):68-74.

Bowel wall thickening in patients with Crohn's disease: CT patterns and correlation with inflammatory activity.

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Department of Radiology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



To assess CT patterns of bowel wall thickening in patients with Crohn's disease and to correlate these patterns with inflammatory activity.


We conducted a retrospective review of 58 helical abdominal CT scans of 53 patients with pathologically proven Crohn's disease. CT patterns of thickened bowel wall were divided into four types based on patterns of mural stratification and enhancement: type A, multilayered mural stratification; type B, two layers with strong mucosal enhancement and prominent low-density submucosa; type C, two layers without strong mucosal enhancement; and type D, homogeneous enhancement. We evaluated CT findings of the bowel and adjacent structures. We also reviewed pathologic features and clinical data to determine inflammatory activity.


Fifty-five (95%) of 58 CT examinations showed bowel wall thickening. Of these 55 CT scans, type A pattern was found in 33 (60%), type B in 10 (18%), type C in five (9%), and type D in seven (13%). CT scans with type A showed significantly more wall thickening than those with either type C or type D. Histology revealed 43 cases with active disease and 12 with quiescent appearance. Thirty of 33 CT scans with type A and all 10 with type B were classified as acute disease, and three of five with type C and six of seven with type D as quiescent.


In patients with Crohn's disease, CT patterns of bowel wall thickening correlated with inflammatory activity. Thickened bowel wall with layering enhancement is predictive of acute disease, and that of homogeneous enhancement suggests quiescence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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