15. October 2011
The Crohn’s disease is an often fatal disease of the intestine, which eventually escalates by infecting all other related organs like the mouth or the anus. This disease often occurs when the body’s immune system turns against the intestine, thus causing a great disruption in their functioning and mechanism. During the first days of infection, they tend to cause grave gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain, and if left untreated, they tend to affect the rest of the body, causing illnesses that range from bone fractures to destruction of the body’s immune system.
While they have known to spread genetically, they affect more than 400,000+ people in North America alone. To make matters worse, the body tries to heal itself by fibrosis, which creates so much unwanted connective tissues, that they tend to do more harm than good. This in turn also puts the patients into a great risk by the current diagnoses methods. But according to a recent study by the university of Michigan, Ultrasonic elastic scan may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for doctors who want to diagnose the Crohn’s disease.
The scientist who worked on this project claimed that while traditional MRI and CT scans are more effective than their ultrasonic counterparts, they are not really helpful in distinguishing the fibrosis tissue from the actual disease, which puts the patient at a higher risk of being wrongly diagnosed. However, since a connective fibrosis tissue is known to be more hard and lumpy compared to the tissue formed by the crohn’s disease, an ultrasonic sound wave from an ultrasonic elastic scan can help the doctors pick out this difference as using their high frequency levels.
Ultrasonic scanning may not be a new concept, but they are taken so much for granted that they find very little real use in the medical industry of today, which is why people forget that they can actually used to detect the nature of of a tumorous tissue, without an expensive medical procedure. However, even if the scientists are able to successfully diagnose this disease, curing them takes a whole new level, but that is a different story.