Gut 55:1561-1567 doi:10.1136/gut.2005.084301
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Quantitative measurement and visual assessment of ileal Crohn’s disease activity by computed tomography enterography: correlation with endoscopic severity and C reactive protein

  1. J F Colombel1,
  2. C A Solem1,
  3. W J Sandborn1,
  4. F Booya2,
  5. E V Loftus Jr1,
  6. W S Harmsen3,
  7. A R Zinsmeister3,
  8. K D Bodily2,
  9. J G Fletcher2
  1. 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
  3. 3Division of Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J G Fletcher
    Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; fletcher.joel{at}
  • Accepted 10 February 2006
  • Revised 26 January 2006
  • Published Online First 28 April 2006


Background: Few studies have correlated computed tomography (CT) enterography findings with endoscopic severity and C reactive protein (CRP) concentrations.

Aim: To examine whether small bowel inflammation at CT enterography correlates with endoscopic severity and CRP in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD).

Methods: CT enterography datasets from 143 CD patients undergoing ileoscopy were examined for three different CT parameters: CT bowel enhancement, as defined by the ratio of terminal ileal versus control ileal loop attenuation; vascular enlargement of the vasa recta (“the comb sign”); and mesenteric fat density. Correlations between CT scan parameters, endoscopy, and histology severity scores, and CRP were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation and logistic regression.

Results: Endoscopic score was significantly correlated with CT bowel enhancement, comb sign, and fat density (Spearman correlation coefficients 0.33–0.39; p<0.001). Correlations with histological inflammation were strongest for bowel enhancement (r = 0.34–0.38; p<0.001). CRP was elevated in patients with increased fat density versus those with increased bowel enhancement only (median 0.96 v 0.23, p = 0.002). CRP did not differ significantly between patients without evidence of active Crohn’s and those with bowel enhancement and endoscopic inflammation not involving the perienteric tissues by CT (median 0.24 v 0.36; p = 0.38).

Conclusion: Quantitative measures of bowel enhancement at CT enterography correlate with endoscopic and histological severity. CRP correlates with radiological findings of perienteric inflammation (increased fat density), but not of inflammation limited to the small bowel wall, underscoring the potential role of perienteric inflammation in CRP response in CD.


  • Published online first 28 April 2006

  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

  • Presented in part at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association, Digestive Disease Week, May 15–20, 2005, Chicago, USA