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MINERVA GASTROENTEROLOGICA E DIETOLOGICA

A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics


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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2001 June;47(2):53-60

language: Italian

Abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction: diagnostic flow-chart coud be semplified?

Astegiano M., Cammarota T., Bresso F., Sapone N., Demarchi B., Bertolusso L., Sarno A., Bruno M., Pellicano R., Rizzetto M.


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Background. The aim of the study was to evaluate the diagnostic role of Kruis score and intestinal ultrasound in young patients with abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction.
Methods. Prospective, double blind, case-control study in 297 consecutive patients with Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome (from 1993 to 1995). Inclusion criteria: abdominal pain, bowel dysfunction without clear symptoms or signs of organic disease. The final diagnosis is obtained with usual diagnostic criteria and confirmed by at least 2 years of follow-up. Intestinal ultrasound is considered diagnostic of Crohn's disease if bowel wall thickness is >=7 mm; the Kruis score is diagnostic for irritable bowel syndrome if >=44.
Results. To diagnose Crohn's disease, intestinal ultrasound and Kruis score respectively showed sensitivity of 84 and 97%, specificity of 98 and 50%, positive predictive value of 91 and 33%, negative predictive value of 96 and 98%, efficacy of 95 and 60%. Both exams suggest the same diagnosis in 55% of patients with a correct diagnosis of 97%.
Conclusions. The intestinal ultrasound and the Kruis score can be a good diagnostic association in young patients with abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction but without clear symptoms or signs of organic disease. If their diagnostic conclusions are the same (55%), they have a low probability of diagnostic error (3%). If they show a different diagnostic hypothesis, other markers of disease, for example ASCA, can be used.

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