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Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2008 Dec;10(6):576-84.

Advances in epidemiology and diagnosis of inflammatory bowel diseases.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


The etiology of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) remains unknown. Understanding IBD epidemiology helps to identify at-risk individuals, to appreciate the changing demographic profile of IBD, and to interpret theories of IBD pathogenesis. This article reviews recent advances in epidemiology and diagnostics. The importance of Clostridium difficile is highlighted. State-of-the-art IBD diagnostic modalities include serology, fecal markers, and advanced radiologic or endoscopic techniques. These include wireless capsule endoscopy, balloon enteroscopy, chromoendoscopy, high-magnification endoscopy, and MRI. The increasing number of available modalities requires appreciation of their indications, strengths, and limitations. This article discusses these issues relevant to the clinician.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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