Maintenance of mucosal healing is a primary goal when treating Crohn's disease (CD). Endoscopy is the most precise method for the assessment of mucosal healing, but is considered overly invasive for patients with CD. In contrast, CT enterography (CTE) is less invasive, but little is known about the correlation between mucosal status and CTE parameters.
We recruited CD patients who underwent CTE and double balloon endoscopy (DBE) on the same day at our hospital between 2012 and 2014. CTE parameters evaluated included bowel-wall thickening, mural hyperenhancement, mural stratification (target sign), submucosal fat deposition, mesenteric hypervascularity (comb sign), increased fat density, mesenteric fibrofatty proliferation, enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes, and stenosis/sacculation. Endoscopic findings were evaluated using the Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn's Disease (SES-CD). CTE parameters that were predictive of higher values in the SES-CD were extracted statistically.
Forty-one patients were recruited, from which 191 intestinal segments were evaluated. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients showed that the majority of CTE values exhibited mild to moderate correlations with SES-CD values. Notably, multiple ordinal logistic regression analysis demonstrated that CTE findings obtained from the mesenteric area, such as mesenteric hypervascularity (comb sign) and enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes, were more critical predictors of endoscopic mucosal ulceration than those obtained from the bowel wall.
This study was the first of its kind to assess correlations between CTE values and SES-CD values. Mesenteric findings of CTE, rather than mural findings, were highly correlated with the endoscopically evaluated severity of ulceration.
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