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Eur Radiol. 2004 Nov;14(11):2105-19. Epub 2004 Jun 30.

Sonographic diagnosis of colitis in children.

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Service de Radiologie Pédiatrique, Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, 371 av. du Doyen Gaston Giraud, 34295, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


To assist the radiologist in differentiating the colitis in children, this review proposes a systematic US approach to the disease, presents the US aspect of the normal colon and describes three distinctive US patterns reflecting the intramural extension of the histopathological changes. Each pattern corresponds to one or several diseases producing alterations in the same layer(s). Stratified thickening suggests an inflammatory mucosal process resulting from infection (as in advanced appendicitis or in infectious colitis) or to inflammation (as in IBD). Nonstratified thickening with loss of the haustral folds reflects a marked submucosal infiltrate. Color Doppler is required to distinguish between an inflammatory disease (as advanced CD or neutropenic colitis) and an ischemic colitis (HUS in children). Nonstratified thickening with preservation of the length of the haustral folds is the sign of an intraluminal deposit due to PMC. Correlating the sonographic pattern and the anatomic distribution of the disease with the clinical and laboratory findings often permits to propose a specific diagnosis.

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