Persistent enhancement on contrast-enhanced ultrasound studies of severe Crohn's disease: stuck bubbles?

Rune Wilkens, Alexandra Wilson, Peter N Burns, Subrata Ghosh, Stephanie R Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A small population of patients with severe Crohn's disease (CD) exhibit atypical lack of intensity decline on intestinal contrast-enhanced ultrasound. From a retrospective CD cohort examined with contrast-enhanced ultrasound, 104 patients were identified. Twenty study patients with severe active disease exhibited high peak enhancement (>23 dB) and minimal decline. From the same cohort, 84 control patients also exhibited high peak enhancement >23 dB, but with typical intensity decline. Patient outcomes were assessed. Time-intensity curve analysis revealed a significantly higher (p < 0.0001) area under the curve (44.7 ± 1.5 dB·s), washout time and intensities at 60s and 120s in the study population compared with controls (40.0 ± 1.1 dB·s). Study patients had a worse overall outcome with surgery in 30% versus 10% (p = 0.027) during follow-up. Heightened enhancement with lack of decline on contrast-enhanced ultrasound suggests microbubbles are stuck within the inflamed bowel wall for an extended period. This observation occurs in patients with severe disease and a bad outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2189-2198
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine & Biology
Issue number11
Early online date31 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound
  • Inflammation
  • Microbubbles
  • Disease activity measurements
  • Imaging
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Disease outcome


Dive into the research topics of 'Persistent enhancement on contrast-enhanced ultrasound studies of severe Crohn's disease: stuck bubbles?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this