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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 896704, 11 pages
Review Article

Transabdominal Ultrasonography of the Small Bowel

1GASTRO-SONOGRAFIA, s.r.o., Hviezdoslavova 23, 95701 Banovce nad Bebravou, Slovakia
2Department of Internal Medicine of Hospital Banovce-3rd Private Hospital, Hviezdoslavova 23, 957 01 Banovce nad Bebravou, Slovakia
32nd Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine at Hradec Kralove, Charles University in Praha, University Teaching Hospital, Sokolska 581, 500 05 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Received 30 January 2013; Accepted 18 October 2013

Academic Editor: Jan Bureš

Copyright © 2013 Rudolf Kralik 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.


In the era of double balloon enteroscopy, capsule endoscopy, CT, and MRI enterography is transabdominal ultrasonography (TUS) underestimated method for evaluation of small bowel pathology. As often initial imagine method in abdominal complaints, nowadays has TUS much better diagnostic potential than two decades ago. High-resolution ultrasound probes with harmonic imaging significantly improve resolution of bowel wall in real time, with possibility to asses bowel peristalsis. Color flow doppler enables evaluation of intramural bowel vascularisation, pulse wave doppler helps to quantificate flow in coeliac and superior mesenteric arteries. Small intestine contrast ultrasonography with oral contrast fluid, as well as contrast enhanced ultrasonography with intravenous microbubble contrast also improves small bowel imaging. We present a review of small intestine pathology that should be detected during ultrasound examinations, discuss technical requirements, advantages and limitations of TUS, typical ultrasound signs of Crohn's disease, ileus, celiac disease, intussusception, infectious enteritis, tumours, ischemic and haemorrhagic conditions of small bowel. In the hands of experienced investigator, despite some significant limitations(obesity, meteorism), is transabdominal ultrasonography reliable, noninvasive and inexpensive alternative method to computerised tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in small bowel examination.