The AGA Journals Blog highlights the latest discoveries in gastroenterology and hepatology research.

Video: Which Patients with Crohn’s Disease Need a CT Scan?

Researchers have developed a system to identify patients with Crohn’s disease who do not require computed tomography (CT) evaluation, described by Shail M. Govani et al  in the October issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The system uses laboratory test results to avoid CT analysis, and thereby unnecessary exposure to radiation and increased cancer risk.

People who come to the emergency department with Crohn’s disease are frequently assessed by CT. However, no significant findings are observed in 32.8%, and only 17% have complications from this disease.

Govani et al. conclude that using their system, physicians could reduce the number of CT scans by about 43%, based on analysis of 1095 emergency department visits by 613 patients.

See their video abstract:


In the video, the study’s senior author Peter D. R. Higgins says “if we reduced our use of CT scans in the emergency room in Crohn’s disease patients by 40%, over a decade, we would prevent 432 additional attributable cancers.”

Costs of CT scans in emergency rooms in the US would be reduced by $150 million over a decade, Higgins adds.


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Kristine Novak

Kristine Novak

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About The Author:

Dr. Kristine Novak

Dr. Kristine Novak

Dr. Kristine Novak is a science writer and editor based in San Francisco. She has extensive experience covering gastroenterology, hepatology, immunology, oncology, clinical, and biotechnology research discoveries.

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