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Sonographic findings in celiac disease

M Riccabona, E Rossipal
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 1993, 17 (2): 198-200
In 43 children who had been admitted to our department due to symptoms of malabsorption, sonography of the small bowel was performed before biopsy. Seventeen of the patients were shown to have celiac disease. Twenty-six patients had gastroenteritis, postenteritis syndrome, and enteropathic cow's milk allergy, and one patient had sarcoidosis. At the time of diagnosis, 16 children with celiac disease showed a sonographically abnormal appearance of the small-bowel wall structure. In addition to hyperperistalsis, slight ascites, pericardial fluid, or liver tissue texture changes could be found in some of the patients. Relating the findings of abnormal small-bowel wall structures to the data of the small-bowel biopsy, we found a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 88% for sonographic detection of changes related to celiac disease. Our findings indicate that sonographic data can be of great help in exploring children with signs of malabsorption. These data provide a further argument for the decision to perform a biopsy of the small bowel.

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