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No quantitative computed tomography (CT) biomarker is actually sufficiently accurate to assess Crohn's disease (CD) lesion activity, with adequate precision to guide clinical decisions. To assess the available literature on the use of iodine concentration (IC), from multi-spectral CT acquisition, as a quantitative parameter able to distinguish healthy from affected bowel and assess CD bowel activity and heterogeneity of activity along the involved segments. A literature search was conducted to identify original research studies published up to February 2022. The inclusion criteria were original research papers (>10 human participants), English language publications, focus on dual-energy CT (DECT) of CD with iodine quantification (IQ) as an outcome measure. The exclusion criteria were animal-only studies, languages other than English, review articles, case reports, correspondence, and study populations <10 patients. Nine studies were included in this review; all of which showed a strong correlation between IC measurements and CD activity markers, such as CD activity index (CDAI), endoscopy findings and simple endoscopic score for Crohn's disease (SES-CD), and routine CT enterography (CTE) signs and histopathologic score. Statistically significant differences in IC were reported between affected bowel segments and healthy ones (higher P value was P < 0.001), normal segments and those with active inflammation (P < 0.0001) as well as between patients with active disease and those in remission (P < 0.001). The mean normalized IC at DECTE could be a reliable tool in assisting radiologists in the diagnosis, classification and grading of CD activity.


Giovanni Grassi, Maria Elena Laino, Mannudeep Kalra, Maria Valeria Cherchi, Refky Nicola, Lorenzo Mannelli, Antonella Balestrieri, Jasjit S Suri, Evis Sala, Luca Saba. Application of multi-spectral CT imaging in Crohn's disease: a systematic review. Acta radiologica (Stockholm, Sweden : 1987). 2023 Aug;64(8):2347-2356

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PMID: 37138467

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