Intestinal Ultrasound (IUS)

Also known as: IUS

What is an Intestinal Ultrasound?

An intestinal ultrasound (IUS) is a noninvasive ultrasound of the lower gastrointestinal tract that provides highly detailed images of the small intestine and colon. An IUS can show inflammation and other bowel complications associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The procedure is painless and doesn't require any bowel preparation or sedation like more invasive procedures such as colonoscopies and endoscopies. An IUS cannot replace endoscopy for diagnosing IBD, but it can replace endoscopic exams that are used to check for the presence of inflammation and monitoring the patient’s disease over time.

What happens during the procedure?

During the IUS, gel is applied to the abdomen and a special wand is rolled over the area resulting in a detailed image on a screen. A gastroenterologist who is specially trained in performing IUS procedures will be able to examine the small intestine and colon in real time to see if there is any inflammation, disease or other complications. If the patient is already being treated for IBD, the procedure will also be able to show if treatment is working. Ultrasounds may take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes, depending on how well the child cooperates.

How do I prepare for an Intestinal Ultrasound?

An IUS does not require any special preparation, fasting or bowel preparation. Some patients may be asked to drink a small amount of liquid before the ultrasound, but this is not usually the case.

Who is a candidate for an Intestinal Ultrasound?

Patients who have been diagnosed with or are suspected to have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) would benefit from an intestinal ultrasound. While IUS cannot replace endoscopic procedures or biopsies for diagnosing IBD, it may reduce the number of colonoscopies or other assessments needed to monitor inflammation and the disease activity over time.

Reviewed by: Lina Felipez, MD

This page was last updated on: July 02, 2024 02:48 PM

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