Table 1

Relative merits of imaging methods in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Barium studiesUltrasoundComputed tomography
Identifying early disease, mucosal oedema and ulceration, enteroenteric fistulae, and longitudinal extent of diseaseFirst investigation in  complicated diseaseIf ultrasound diagnosis is unclear
Identifying bowel wall  changes, mesenteric  inflammation and  abscessIdentifying bowel wall strictures,  mesenteric inflammation,  abscesses and fistulae— enterocutaneous, enterovesical,
 or retroperitoneal
Evaluation of postoperative anatomy, stricture or obstruction Limitations With spiral computed tomography
TendernessWell tolerated
Gas2-D reconstruction
Deep pelvic collectionsEvaluate small bowel obstruction
Demonstration of  fistulae
Radiation dose 6.0-9.0 mSVRadiation dose: noneRadiation dose 8.0 mSV