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June 4, 2015

Pros and Cons of Imaging Modalities for Pediatric IBD

By Margaret Shepard, Communications Specialist

Article appears in June's Digestive Diseases Update.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the most serious gastrointestinal diseases affecting children in the Western world. It has a complex and variable course, and diagnosis not only includes endoscopy but also small bowel imaging to assess mucosal alterations and transmural involvement as well as response to treatment. As a result, patients are likely to have multiple imaging studies over a lifetime.

Jeanne Tung, M.D., recommends small bowel follow-through (SBFT) for children younger than 10.

"Most young children aren't capable of being in a room by themselves with a big, scary machine," she says. "With small bowel follow-through, they are in the presence of a provider and a reassuring parent for the duration of the study. There is some radiation exposure — in the pediatric population, the effective dose is about 1.2 to 1.5 millisieverts."

Read more about pediatric imaging for IBD in this month's Digestive Diseases Update.

For more information about IBD, visit

Dr. Tung is a gastroenterologist specializing in the evaluation of children with IBD at Mayo Clinic.

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