Background: Stricturing Crohn’s disease (CD) occurs most commonly in the terminal ileum and poses a clinical problem. Cross-sectional imaging modalities such as intestinal ultrasound (IUS), computed tomography enterography (CTE), and magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) allow for assessment of the entire bowel wall and associated peri-enteric findings. Radiologic definitions of strictures have been developed for CTE and MRE; their reliability and responsiveness are being evaluated in index development programs. A comprehensive assessment strategy for strictures using IUS is needed.

Aims: To provide a detailed summary of definitions, diagnosis and monitoring of strictures on IUS as well as technical aspects of image acquisition.

Methods: We searched four databases up to 6 January 2024. Two-stage screening was done in duplicate. We assessed risk of bias using QUADAS-2.

Results: There were 56 studies eligible for inclusion. Definitions for strictures on IUS are heterogeneous, but the overall accuracy for diagnosis of strictures is high. The capability of IUS for characterising inflammation versus fibrosis in strictures is not accurate enough to be used in clinical practice or trials. We summarise definitions for improvement of strictures on IUS, and discuss parameters for image acquisition and standardisation.

Conclusions: This systematic review is the first step for a structured program to develop a stricture IUS index for CD.


Crohn's Disease, intestinal ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Enterography

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