Imaging Tests for Crohn’s Disease
It can be hard to diagnose Crohn’s disease. Its symptoms mimic many other conditions of the digestive system, including bacterial infection and colitis. If you’re having gastrointestinal (GI) issues, your physician may order imaging tests for Crohn’s disease, in addition to blood work and endoscopies. American Health Imaging makes it easy to get these tests, including CT scans, MRI scans and X-rays.
What Is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. It is one of a number of inflammatory bowel diseases, or IBDs. Symptoms can include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, nausea and fatigue. The condition is often genetic and can be aggravated by stress and certain foods or drinks.
Crohn’s disease is equally common in men and women, and it’s most often diagnosed in adolescents and young adults.
Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth down, but it most commonly inflames parts of the small intestine and the top of the large intestine.
Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease
Because signs of Crohn’s disease are the same as many other IBDs and gastrointestinal disorders, it may take several tests to determine a diagnosis. You will need lab tests like blood work and stool samples. Your doctor may also recommend an endoscopy and/or a colonoscopy—outpatient procedures that use a tiny flexible tube with a camera attached to look at your upper or lower GI tract.
However, a less invasive way to see possible inflammation is through abdominal imaging. You may need several kinds of imaging scans before a Crohn’s disease diagnosis can be confirmed.
Types of Imaging to Diagnose Crohn’s Disease
AHI offers different diagnostic imaging tests that can help your doctor decide if you have Crohn’s disease. These include:
- CT scan, which uses specialized X-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of your abdomen
- MRI, which produces detailed images of your soft tissue using magnets and radio waves
- X-ray, which uses electromagnetic radiation to create images of your structures and tissues
- Ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create a picture of your abdominal organs
Some of these procedures may require you to take oral contrast beforehand. This is a drink you will take shortly before the procedure so that your GI tract will show up more distinctively on the imaging. Your doctor may also want contrast injected into your body before your CT scan. Contrast is safe and will leave your body within 24 to 48 hours.
Why Choose AHI for Crohn’s Disease Testing
The experienced imaging technologists at AHI make it easy for you to get testing for Crohn’s disease. Our professionals will work with your doctors to ensure you get precise and reliable imaging and fast, accurate results for diagnostic testing—all at a cost much lower than the hospital. And with so many locations to choose from, AHI is probably closer to your home or workplace, too. We also offer evening and weekend appointments, so it’s easy to find an appointment time that fits your busy schedule.
If you need imaging tests to possibly confirm a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, AHI has convenient locations across the Southeast. Request an appointment today.