Comparison of Multidetector CT and Barium Studies of the Small Bowel
Douglas H. Jamieson 1 ; Peter J. Shipman 1 ; David M. Israel 1 ; Kevan Jacobson 2
1 Department of Radiology, Children’s Hospital of British Columbia, 4480 Oak St., Vancouver, B. C. V6H 3V4, Canada.
2 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Children’s Hospital of British Columbia, Vancouver, B. C. V6H 3V4, Canada.
Received July 5, 2002; accepted after revision October 14, 2002.
OBJECTIVE: We compared barium studies of the small bowel with multidetector CT (MDCT) in the evaluation of the small bowel during the initial presentation of inflammatory bowel disease in a pediatric population.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This was a prospective study. Eighteen children undergoing workup for inflammatory bowel disease underwent MDCT, colonoscopy, and barium studies of the small bowel before commencement of therapy. Examinations were independently reviewed. The patients and their guardians completed a questionnaire assessing the acceptability of each study.
RESULTS: In 13 of 18 children, the findings of MDCT and barium studies of the small bowel concurred in the evaluation of terminal ileum disease. In three of these children, MDCT detected skip segments of small-bowel disease not detected on barium studies of the small bowel. In two of 18 children, the terminal ileum was not visualized on barium studies of the small bowel, whereas MDCT showed substantial terminal ileum disease in both children. In three of 18 children, there was discordance between the two tests regarding terminal ileum disease. However, these discordant imaging findings were all subtle. In addition, MDCT revealed extraenteric abnormalities, clinically relevant in two children (ureteric obstruction and perirectal abscess), and showed the colon in all children, seven of whom had incomplete colonoscopy. The questionnaire revealed that 16 of 18 patients preferred MDCT to small-bowel barium studies. The reasons given were poor tolerance of oral barium and the long duration of barium studies of the small bowel.
CONCLUSION: MDCT can be an alternative to barium studies of the small bowel for evaluation of the small bowel in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. MDCT also offers additional, clinically relevant information not obtained by small-bowel barium studies.