Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Imaging technology might help doctors determine best treatment for Crohn's disease patients

Date:
October 19, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Ultrasound elasticity imaging, or UEI, could allow doctors to non-invasively make the distinction between intestinal inflammation and fibrosis in Crohn's disease patients, allowing patients to receive more appropriate and timely care.

Dr. Jonathan Rubin scans a patient.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan Health System

It's difficult for doctors to tell whether a patient with Crohn's disease has intestinal fibrosis, which requires surgery, or inflammation, which can be treated with medicine. A new imaging method might make that task easier, according to a U-M-led study.

Ultrasound elasticity imaging, or UEI, could allow doctors to noninvasively make the distinction between inflammation and fibrosis, allowing patients to receive more appropriate and timely care. The study was published in the September edition of Gastroenterology.

Crohn's disease patients suffer from chronic inflammation of the intestines, which over time can cause scar tissue to form, resulting in intestinal fibrosis.

Patients with intestinal inflammation usually are treated with medicines that suppress their immune system, while patients with fibrosis are treated surgically. Because current diagnostic tests, including CT scans and MRIs, cannot detect the difference between the two conditions, many patients with fibrosis are often initially treated with immune system-suppressing drugs, which are expensive and are unlikely to help.

"These therapies are potent, costly and carry risk," says Ryan Stidham, M.D., clinical lecturer in the Department of Internal Medicine. "And for patients with fibrosis, such treatment might be for naught."

Inflamed intestinal tissue is softer than fibrotic tissue, which is hard and thick. The new method uses ultrasound to measure the relative hardness and thickness of tissue inside the body, potentially allowing doctors to differentiate between the two conditions without performing surgery. In animal models, UEI was able to accurately tell the difference between inflamed tissue and scar tissue.

"The goal of this study is to have technology that can make the distinction between fibrosis and inflammation," says Stidham, the lead author of the study. "We want to know if it's worth it to push medical therapy, or if a person is destined for surgery."

The researchers also found that UEI was capable of differentiating between fibrotic and unaffected intestine in a pilot human study. Patients already scheduled for surgical treatment underwent UEI assessment prior to surgery, and fibrotic strictures were identified in each case.

Stidham says the next step in the group's research is a long-term human clinical trial, beginning this winter. If UEI is able to accurately assess a patient's condition, doctors will be able to more efficiently treat Crohn's disease patients suffering from inflammation or fibrosis.

"UEI has great potential to provide a clear measurement that helps clinicians judge whether medical or surgical management is best for the individual patient earlier in their disease course." Stidham says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ryan W. Stidham, Jingping Xu, Laura A. Johnson, Kang Kim, David S. Moons, Barbara J. McKenna, Jonathan M. Rubin, Peter D.R. Higgins. Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging for Detecting Intestinal Fibrosis and Inflammation in Rats and Humans With Crohn's Disease. Gastroenterology, 2011; 141 (3): 819 DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.07.027

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Imaging technology might help doctors determine best treatment for Crohn's disease patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014142615.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2011, October 19). Imaging technology might help doctors determine best treatment for Crohn's disease patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014142615.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Imaging technology might help doctors determine best treatment for Crohn's disease patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014142615.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins