Image of Dr. Amelia Kellar performing an intestinal ultrasound on a pediatric IBD patient
Amelia Kellar, MD, MSc, using intestinal ultrasound to monitor a pediatric patient's IBD

If your child has Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you know how frustrating it is when your symptoms flare up despite your best efforts. Assessing their symptoms can often involve invasive testing, however, a novel, non-invasive technology called intestinal ultrasound can help you better understand your child’s symptoms and assess for inflammation. Intestinal ultrasound provides results in real time at your clinic visit so you and your child’s doctor can act of symptoms quickly and prevent further progression.

Call 702-6169 to Schedule an Appointment

What is Intestinal Ultrasound?

Intestinal ultrasound offers highly accurate images of your child’s bowel — without any special preparation required. This will help you and your doctor understand if your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are active and make immediate changes to treatment if needed.

Considered the future of IBD monitoring, intestinal ultrasound is already a routine component of practice in other areas of the world including Europe, Australia, Canada and Japan. The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s is one of only 3 Pediatric centers in the country — and the only one in the Midwest — to offer this safe and convenient tool for monitoring pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

How Can Intestinal Ultrasound Help Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Intestinal ultrasound performed by a trained pediatric IBD provider can transform care and disease management for kids of all ages who have IBD.

When your child comes to Comer Children’s, they may have an intestinal ultrasound as part of their assessment during initial and follow-up visits. It can be used to:

  • Monitor disease activity: Intestinal ultrasound can assess how active your child’s disease is and check for complications like bowel strictures, fistulas or abscesses.
  • Assess their response to medication: With intestinal ultrasound, you can receive early feedback as to whether a medication is effective. If there is ongoing evidence of inflammation, you and your child’s IBD specialist may decide to make a change in therapy in order to optimize their care.
  • Assess for disease recurrence after surgery: If your child has had surgery as a part of there IBD treatment, intestinal ultrasound can help assess for early signs that the disease may have recurred. If this occurs, intestinal ultrasound can facilitate early treatment and intervention and help prevent their condition from progressing.

Benefits of Intestinal Ultrasound for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Intestinal ultrasound has many advantages for children with IBD. Specifically, intestinal ultrasound:

  • It is not painful.
  • Does not involve radiation or any safety risks.
  • Does not require any preparation, such as fasting or drinking a “bowel prep,” as required before an endoscopic procedure.
  • Allows you and your child’s doctor to see if their IBD is active or in remission at the time of appointment.
  • Helps you and your child’s provider make immediate decisions about treatment when needed.

Research shows intestinal ultrasound is as accurate and even superior to several other tests used to monitor pediatric IBD. It has also been shown to be as accurate as endoscopic procedures (including colonoscopy) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for assessing disease activity in IBD.

Meet Our Intestinal Ultrasound for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Provider

Dr. Amelia Kellar is the only provider to offer intestinal ultrasound for IBD patients at Comer Children’s. Intestinal ultrasound is available for established IBD patients at our River East location by Dr. Kellar (pediatric patients) and Dr. Krugliak Cleveland (adult patients).

Frequently Asked Questions about Intestinal Ultrasound for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease