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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Diagnosis

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The diagnosis of IBD is performed with blood tests, physical exam, radiography and endoscopic procedures. 

Specific testing may include: 

  • Abdominal x-ray
  • Barium enema
  • Abdominopelvic CT or MRI
  • Small bowel follow through
  • CT enterography
  • Colonoscopy
  • Capsule endoscopy

The gold standard for evaluating patients who have abdominal symptoms suspicious for IBD is colonoscopy (with ileoscopy if Crohn’s disease is suspected). This allows for the ability to obtain biopsies, which aid in the diagnosis.

National Jewish Health performs upper endoscopies in individuals with suspected upper GI involvement in Crohn’s disease, and small bowel capsule endoscopies in patients with suspected Crohn’s ileitis who had a normal colonoscopy.

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