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Radiology. 2008 Apr;247(1):64-79. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2471070611.

Inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed with US, MR, scintigraphy, and CT: meta-analysis of prospective studies.

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Departments of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



To compare, by performing a meta-analysis, the accuracies of ultrasonography (US), magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, scintigraphy, computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET) in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases were searched for studies on the accuracy of US, MR imaging, scintigraphy, CT, and PET, as compared with a predefined reference standard, in the diagnosis of IBD. Sensitivity and specificity estimates were calculated on per-patient and per-bowel-segment bases by using a bivariate random-effects model.


Thirty-three studies, from a search that yielded 1406 articles, were included in the final analysis. Mean sensitivity estimates for the diagnosis of IBD on a per-patient basis were high and not significantly different among the imaging modalities (89.7%, 93.0%, 87.8%, and 84.3% for US, MR imaging, scintigraphy, and CT, respectively). Mean per-patient specificity estimates were 95.6% for US, 92.8% for MR imaging, 84.5% for scintigraphy, and 95.1% for CT; the only significant difference in values was that between scintigraphy and US (P = .009). Mean per-bowel-segment sensitivity estimates were lower: 73.5% for US, 70.4% for MR imaging, 77.3% for scintigraphy, and 67.4% for CT. Mean per-bowel-segment specificity estimates were 92.9% for US, 94.0% for MR imaging, 90.3% for scintigraphy, and 90.2% for CT. CT proved to be significantly less sensitive and specific compared with scintigraphy (P = .006) and MR imaging (P = .037)


No significant differences in diagnostic accuracy among the imaging techniques were observed. Because patients with IBD often need frequent reevaluation of disease status, use of a diagnostic modality that does not involve the use of ionizing radiation is preferable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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