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[Value of ultrasound in diagnosis of celiac disease]

M Riccabona, E Rossipal
Ultraschall in der Medizin 1996, 17 (1): 31-3

AIM: To evaluate the potential benefits of sonographic assessment in the diagnostic work-up of children suspected of having coeliac disease.

METHOD: 39 infants with biopsy-proven coeliac disease were evaluated by sonographic assessment. Ten of them had presented with unusual clinical features such as acute abdomen and underwent sonography as the first diagnostic procedure.

RESULTS: Various sonographic anomalies were observed: abdominal fluid in 76%, hyperperistalsis in 82%, pericardial effusion in 47% and unusual appearance of the small bowel wall in 94%.

CONCLUSION: Although sonography cannot replace intestinal biopsy, awareness of the sonographic anomalies associated with coeliac disease in children can lead to a quicker diagnosis and prompt introduction of adequate therapy. It should be performed as a part of the diagnostic workup in infants who fail to thrive.

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