Diagnostic Highlights

Test

Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition

Explanation

Barium enema

Normal lower GI tract

To determine the location and extent of rectal involvement, including inflammation strictures, perianal disease, and fistulae

May help differentiate Crohn's disease from ulcerative colitis; should not be undertaken during acute episodes of illness

Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy

Normal GI tract on direct visualization

To detect location of illness, as well as early mucosal changes, inflammation, strictures, and fistulae

May help differentiate Crohn's disease from ulcerative colitis

Other Tests: Complete blood count (CBC), serum albumin, cholesterol, electrolytes (particularly calcium and magnesium), C reactive protein, orosomucoid (a globulin in blood plasma), sedimentation rate; culture of stool specimens for routine pathogens, ova, parasites, Clostridium difficile toxin; perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (p-ANCA) (a myeloperoxidase antigen more commonly found in ulcerative colitis) and antibodies to the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (anti-S cerevisiae antibodies [ASCA]) are more commonly found in CD). Other imaging studies include computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound studies.

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