DYNAMIC CONTRAST-ENHANCED ULTRASOUND OF THE BOWEL WALL WITH QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF CROHN’S DISEASE ACTIVITY IN CHILDHOOD
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) has become an established non-invasive, patient-friendly imaging technique which improves the characterization of lesions. In addition, dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US) provides valuable information concerning perfusion of examined organs. This review addresses current applications of CEUS in children, focused on DCE-US of the bowel wall in patients with Crohn disease, which enables real-time assessment of the bowel wall vascularity with semi-quantitative and quantitative assessment of disease activity and response to medical treatment.
Crohn disease is a chronic inflammatory relapsing disease. Frequent imaging re-evaluation is necessary. Therefore, imaging should be as little less invasive as possible, children friendly with high diagnostic accuracy. US with wide varieties of techniques, including CEUS/DCE-US, can provide an important contribution for diagnosing and monitoring a disease activity. Even if the use of US contrast agent is off-label in children, it is welcome and widely accepted for intravesical use, and a little less for intravenous use, manly in evaluation of parenchimal lesions. To our knowledge this is the first time that the use of DCE-US in the evaluation of activity of small bowel Crohn disease with quantitative assessment of kinetic parameters is being described. Even if the results of the value and accuracy of different quantitative kinetic parameters in published studies in adult population often contradict one another there is a great potential of DCE-US to become a part of the entire sonographic evaluation not only in adults, but also in children. Further control studies should be performed.
Key words: contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US), Crohn disease, disease activity, quantification, children