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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Mar;30(3):446-52. doi: 10.1111/jgh.12871.

Failure of gastroenterologists to apply intestinal ultrasound in inflammatory bowel disease in the Asia-Pacific: a need for action.

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Department of Gastroenterology, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Intestinal ultrasound (IUS) is a cheap, noninvasive, risk-free procedure that is significantly underutilized in the diagnosis and management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the Asia-Pacific region. More cost-effective methods of monitoring disease activity are required in light of the increasing global burden of IBD (especially in Asia), the advent of personalized medicine, and the rising cost of healthcare. IUS is a prime example of a technique that meets these needs. Its common clinical applications include assessing the activity and complications of IBD. In continental Europe, countries such as Germany and Italy use this imaging tool as the standard of care and have integrated it into management protocols. There are formal training programs in these countries to train gastroenterologists in IUS, and it is used in an outpatient setting during patient consultations. Barriers to its use in the Asia-Pacific region include lack of experience and research data, and there are few established centers with active training programs. These concerns can be addressed by investing more in IUS service provision and by increasing allocation of resources toward local research and training. Increased uptake of IUS will ultimately benefit patients with IBD.


Crohn's disease; abdominal abscess; computerized tomography; disease assessment; fistula; imaging modalities; intestinal ultrasound; magnetic resonance imaging; stricture; ulcerative colitis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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