Intestinal ultrasound (sonography) is an instrumental diagnostic method that detects diseases of the colon and small intestine. At the same time, areas of the gastrointestinal tract that are inaccessible with other diagnostic methods are well visualized.
The method is used as part of a comprehensive examination of the intestine, is safe, painless, has no contraindications and complications. An ultrasound image is also called a sonogram.
The essence of the procedure
High-frequency sound waves are used in ultrasound diagnostics. They are generated by the sensor of the device. Ultrasound passes through human organs and is reflected from them, is captured by equipment and projected onto the monitor screen.
Since body tissues have different densities, sound waves return unevenly. The denser the fabric, the faster it reflects ultrasound. And liquid media do not reflect it, but absorb it.
From this data, a three-dimensional moving image is built in real time. Tissues with medium density will have a light gray color, liquids and air will be black.
If something has alerted the ultrasound doctor, he can immediately examine the problem area in more detail.
For a long time, it was impossible to examine the intestines using ultrasound — digestion is accompanied by gas formation, and gas distorts the scan results. Now the devices have been improved, but the patient should still prepare for the procedure, trying to minimize gas formation.
The method has no contraindications, it is carried out without fear for the elderly, children, pregnant women.
The exception is patients with skin diseases and injuries to the surface of the skin of the abdomen, who are in a state of drug intoxication and acute stage of mental disorders.
What diseases are detected by ultrasound
Ultrasound scan reveals:
- fluid in the abdominal cavity
- neoplasms and polyps,
- inflammation of the small and large intestine
- protrusion of the intestinal walls,
- mesinterial lymphadenitis
- fistulas and perforations,
- accumulation of blood
- incorrect location of the organ,
- indirect signs of appendicitis,
- intestinal ischemia,
- thrombosis of mesenteric vessels
- nonspecific ulcerative colitis,
- intestinal obstruction,
- fecal stones.
Who is recommended an intestinal ultrasound
The procedure is part of a comprehensive study of the gastrointestinal tract. The doctor will prescribe an intestinal ultrasound if a person is concerned about the following conditions:
- irregular stools: frequent (more than 3 times a day) or constipation (less than 4 times a week);
- impurities in feces: undigested food, helminths, blood clots;
- nausea, vomiting, unpleasant smell and bitter taste in the mouth;
- a seal is felt in the abdomen;
- constant heaviness in the intestines;
- intestinal colic;
- unreasonable hunger or lack of appetite;
- increased gas formation;
- bowel deformity detected by rectoromanoscopy;
- fecal incontinence;
- if appendicitis is suspected;
- stenosis in pregnant women;
- violation of intestinal blood supply;
- metabolic disorders.
With the help of ultrasound, the doctor monitors the recovery after operations on the intestine, the condition of previously identified tumor neoplasms. Including – with endometriosis and after prostate surgery, in order to exclude the spread of neoplasms to the intestine.
If you are genetically disposed to chronic intestinal diseases, an intestinal ultrasound should be performed annually.
In children, ultrasound is performed:
- with congenital anomalies of the gastrointestinal tract
- Crohn’s disease,
- intestinal irritation,
- colitis, ulcers
- hardening of fecal masses.
Types of intestinal ultrasound
Depending on the nature of the alleged problem, the doctor decides which type of ultrasound diagnosis to assign to the patient.
How do they do ultrasound of the large and small intestines?
There are four research options:
- Standard. Allows you to determine the thickness of the wall, the presence of large neoplasms and pathological inclusions, shows the motility of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Doppler. It is based on the Doppler effect, when ultrasound is reflected from moving particles. In medicine, such objects are red blood cells. The method evaluates the state of blood flow in the intestinal walls better than others.
- With the use of a contrast agent. The method is more accurate than the previous ones, but doctors prescribe it infrequently. If pathological changes are detected during a preliminary examination, gastroscopy or MSCT of the abdominal cavity with contrast is more often prescribed to clarify the diagnosis.
- Endousies. Combination of phagogastroduodenoscopy and ultrasound. The study is considered highly informative, but it is painful, involves the use of complex equipment and has many contraindications.
According to the technique of scanning , it happens:
- Transabdominal. For a reliable image, the intestines are filled with water, the doctor conducts a study through the abdominal wall.
- Endorectal. Filling with liquid is not required, the sensor is inserted through the anus. The data of such an ultrasound is accurate, but the scope of the study is limited — only the large intestine is viewed.
- Transvaginal. Scanning through the vagina. It is used in the examination of adult women, if other methods are not available.
How to prepare for an intestinal ultrasound
If the patient’s condition is critical and there is no time for diets and enemas, the doctor will conduct a bowel scan without prior preparation. However, the research data will be inaccurate.
Preparation for examination with intestinal ultrasound begins 3 days before the procedure. This is the only way the reliable results obtained will be reliable.
The study is carried out strictly on an empty stomach, food should not be taken for 8-10 hours before the procedure. The previous 6 days you need to follow a diet that minimizes gas formation. From the diet will have to be excluded:
- milk and lactic acid products,
- flour and sweets,
- legumes and soy
- lemonades. sweet and carbonated drinks.
- fried, spicy, fatty foods.
The main dishes in preparation for the procedure will consist of:
- from water-cooked cereals;
- boiled or steamed poultry meat. rabbit, veal;
- boiled or baked lean fish;
- cheese without additives;
- eggs (one per day);
- herbal tea;
- unsweetened compotes.
Depending on the peculiarities of digestion, the doctor will recommend taking enterosorbents and medications that normalize digestion. This will quickly eliminate flatulence. And taking enzyme-containing drugs will promote good digestion of food.
On the eve of ultrasound, a cleansing enema is performed twice, in the amount of at least 2 liters of cold water, the last one – 12 hours before the scan. If the procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, the enema is put in the morning.
Sometimes, in consultation with a doctor, an enema can be replaced by taking a laxative with immediate effect.