Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MGH Crohn's and Colitis Center, 165 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory diseases that lead to progressive bowel damage including the development of stricturing and penetrating complications. Increasingly, cross-sectional imaging with computed tomography or magnetic resonance scans have emerged as leading tools to: (1) assess disease activity; (2) monitor response to therapy or disease recurrence; and (3) identify disease-related complications. Several validated radiological scoring systems have been developed to quantify cross-sectional and longitudinal inflammatory burden in these diseases and to monitor response to treatment. Bowel ultrasound is also a simple and inexpensive tool but is operator dependent in its performance.