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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4023065, 7 pages
Research Article

Point of Care Ultrasound Accurately Distinguishes Inflammatory from Noninflammatory Disease in Patients Presenting with Abdominal Pain and Diarrhea

1Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 2T9
2Department of Community Health Sciences, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 2T9
3Division of General Internal Medicine, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 2T9
4Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T2N 2T9
5Diagnostic Imaging, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 2T9

Received 24 August 2015; Accepted 29 September 2015

Copyright © 2016 Kerri L. Novak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Approaches to distinguish inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from noninflammatory disease that are noninvasive, accurate, and readily available are desirable. Such approaches may decrease time to diagnosis and better utilize limited endoscopic resources. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy for gastroenterologist performed point of care ultrasound (POCUS) in the detection of luminal inflammation relative to gold standard ileocolonoscopy. Methods. A prospective, single-center study was conducted on convenience sample of patients presenting with symptoms of diarrhea and/or abdominal pain. Patients were offered POCUS prior to having ileocolonoscopy. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) with 95% confidence intervals (CI), as well as likelihood ratios, were calculated. Results. Fifty-eight patients were included in this study. The overall sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV were 80%, 97.8%, 88.9%, and 95.7%, respectively, with positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR) of 36.8 and 0.20. Conclusion. POCUS can accurately be performed at the bedside to detect transmural inflammation of the intestine. This noninvasive approach may serve to expedite diagnosis, improve allocation of endoscopic resources, and facilitate initiation of appropriate medical therapy.