Crohn's Disease - Diagnosis
Diagnosis requires blood and stool tests during an active phase. Blood test for Crohn’s disease that needs to be performed is –
- Blood hemoglobin to look for anemia and elevated white cell count.
- An elevated ESR or erythrocyte sedimentation rate, along with an increased white cell count is a pointer to an acute inflammation.
- A stool test will have to be done to rule out infection due to parasites, worms and so on.
A colonoscope is a flexible endoscope that will enable the doctor to look into the colon and study the affected areas. Findings of the typical ulcers are very suggestive of ulcerative colitis. A biopsy can be taken to study the tissue and confirm the diagnosis as well as rule out other causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea. Barium meal entails lining of the entire small intestine with an ingested contrast like barium which when x-rayed later show the evidences of ulceration, narrowing, abscess formation and so on.
CT scans are very useful and find a place in diagnostics in every specialty. CT findings can be correlated to the severity of the disease.
Video capsule endoscopy is a new, state of the art tool in the diagnostic armamentarium. This consists of a small capsule that the patient swallows and as it passes through the intestines, it can give a video image of the state of the inflammation within the intestine. It is however, not recommended in those people suspected of having intestinal obstruction.
References:1: J Dig Dis. 2009 Feb;10(1):1-6
Inflammatory bowel disease: A survey of the epidemiology in Asia.
Goh K, Xiao SD.
University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2: Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print]
Differentiating Intestinal Tuberculosis From Crohn's Disease: A Diagnostic Challenge.
3: Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2009 Feb;13(2):259-63.
Inflammatory bowel diseases: highlights from the United European Gastroenterology Week 2008.
Kaser A, Tilg H.