Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), coupled with the use of the contrast dye gadolinium, may help pediatricians better diagnose children with ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center.
Results of the study, published in the March issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, showed that the gadolinium-enhanced MRI (G-MRI) confirmed these diagnoses in more than 90 percent of the children in the study who had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Because ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease -- two painful ailments with similar origins and symptoms -- have two very different treatment regimens, especially if surgical treatment is contemplated, early diagnosis is critical, the researchers say.
"For the most severe cases of ulcerative colitis, surgical removal of the colon is the only cure, while there is no cure for Crohns disease," says Anil Darbari, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Childrens Center, and the lead author of the study. "Unfortunately, many children who are originally diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and have their diseased colon surgically removed are later found to actually have had Crohns, which is discovered when the disease resurfaces in another area within the intestinal tract."
Jessica Collins | EurekAlert!
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