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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


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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