Differential diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease: What is the role of colonoscopy?

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Colonoscopy plays a crucial role in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Practitioners should be well informed of the colonoscopic findings of IBD to prevent the misdiagnosis, overtreatment or delayed treatment. Distinguishing between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis is essential in terms of pharmacological treatment, surgical decision-making, and prognosis. But there are still lesions with difficulty in differentiation that approximately 10% of the patients fall into the category of indeterminate colitis. Efforts are needed to carefully select treatment approach appropriate for each patient by providing a precise diagnosis on the extent and degree of lesions as well as to accurately delineate the lesions to assure that they are compared in subsequent rounds of follow-up monitoring in order to allow redetermination and adjustment of the treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-262
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • Colonoscopy
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease


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