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Original research
Ultrasound use to assess Crohn’s disease in the UK: a survey of British Society of Gastroenterology Inflammatory Bowel Disease Group members
  1. Shellie Jean Radford1,2,
  2. Stuart Taylor3,
  3. Gordon Moran1,2
  1. 1 Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2 NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3 Medical Imaging, UCL, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Shellie Jean Radford, Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, University of Nottingham University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK; shellie.radford1{at}


Background Small bowel ultrasound has very good diagnostic accuracy for disease extent, presence and activity in Crohn’s Disease, is well tolerated by patients and is cheaper when compared with MRI. However, uptake of ultrasound in the UK is limited.

Methods An online survey to assess the current usage of ultrasound throughout the UK was undertaken by BSG IBD group members between 9/06/2021- 25/06/2021. Responses were anonymous.

Results 103 responses were included in the data analysis. Responses came from 66 different NHS trusts from 14 different regions of the UK. All respondents reported that they currently have an MRI service for Crohn’s disease, whereas only 31 had an ultrasound service. Average time for results to be reported for MRI scans was reported as between 4– and 6 weeks, with a range of 2 days to 28 weeks. The average time for an ultrasound to be reported was stated as 1–4 weeks, with a range of 0–8 weeks. There was disparity between the reported confidence of clinicians making clinical decisions when using ultrasound compared to MRI. Of those respondents who did not have access to an ultrasound service, 72 stated that they would be interested in developing an ultrasound service.

Conclusion There is an appetite for the uptake of ultrasound in the UK for assessment of Crohn’s disease, however, there remains a significant number of UK centres with little or no access to an ultrasound service. Further research is necessary to understand why this is the case.

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • gastrointestinal ultrasound

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Contributors SJR: Survey creation, data analysis and manuscript formation and guaruntor. GM and ST: Survey creation and whole manuscript review.

  • Funding This study is undertaken as part of doctoral study funded by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands.

  • Map disclaimer The inclusion of any map (including the depiction of any boundaries therein) or of any geographic or locational reference does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of BMJ concerning the legal status of any country, territory, jurisdiction or area or of its authorities. Any such expression remains solely that of the relevant source and is not endorsed by BMJ. Maps are provided without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

  • Competing interests GM receives research funding from Janssen, Arla foods and Astra Zeneca and is a consultant for Alimentiv. ST is a consultant to Alimentiv and has share options in Motilent.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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