What exactly can show up on a small bowel follow through?

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indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 4/23/2008 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I was just wondering if the only thing that shows up on this test is narrowing? 
 
Narrowing happens over time, doesn't it?  So this test would not be much good in early Crohn's, correct?
 
Thanks a bunch!

belleenstein
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 4/23/2008 11:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Small bowel followthrough should be able to detect abnormalities in the structure of the bowel wall, indicative of crohn's -- ulcerations, granulomous tissue etc., gas patterns, not just the string segments that indicate narrowing. The problem with SBFT is with how they are performed. Timing and patience are required to get clear, unobstructed images. busy radiology departments often cut costs by hurrying the process and/or waiting too long in between images. Once the contrast medium has emptied into the large bowel, much of the small bowel is obscured. If the images haven't been taken prior to the emptying, it can be difficult to visualize the last bit of small bowel. Some parts of the bowel are more difficult to visualize than others. Also, after multiple surgeries and scarring that comes along with that, the difficulty of visualizing the entire small bowel can increase.

Also, it is important to remember that inflammation will show up as narrowing too and that is often the first thing that happens, long before the real nasty damage takes place.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 4/23/2008 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Bell! 

Can a Crohn's diagnosis ever be made from having this procedure?  

 

 


CrohnieToo
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Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 4/23/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh yeah! It was a SBFT in early 1976 that got me the Crohn's disease Dx. Belleenstein is oh so correct tho about the skill and experience w/Crohn's of the techs and radiologists involved. I've had a "normal" SBFT locally and w/in less than a month another SBFT at Mayo Clinic wherein inflammation and high grade partial obstruction was found at my old anastomosis and a new area of inflammation near the ileocecal valve.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 4/23/2008 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh wow!

They did my pictures every 20-25 minutes. Do you think that was often enough to "catch" anything?

belleenstein
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 4/23/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
It depends on your transit time -- how fast food passes through your bowel. I suspect it's just fine. Hpe you get the answers you are seeking.

Oh, and it was how I got my diagnosis back in 1979. First a barium enema, then the sbft and bingo -- there was the string segment. You've got crohn's.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


Mark Mac
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 4/23/2008 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Indo,

you are right to be critical. Give the techs the benefit of the doubt, but if the results come back and they don't jive with what you are experiencing. If they come back and tell you you are symptom free, and you have mad symptoms then the results are poor or misread. We have to be our own advocates i've found as tests are only as good as the people performing the tests and readings, and the medical profession is made up of humans, some better than others.

Good luck with your results.

mark
28, male, diagnosed CD in 93'. Currently taking Humira, and darvoset for pain. Also getting acupuncture and chinese herbs as well as a massage when I can afford it. 107 lb

"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV"

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