Abdominopelvic CT-scan in emergency departments for patients with suspected complications of Crohn's disease: a single tertiary center experience

BACKGROUND Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic disorder with frequent complications. The objective of this study was to assess the predictive factors of finding a complication of CD using abdominopelvic CT-scan in patients with a visit to the emergency department.
METHODS Patients with at least one visit to the gastroenterology department of our University hospital during the year with a CD were retrospectively included. All visits to the emergency department of the hospital during the follow-up of these patients were identified.
RESULTS A total of 638 patients were included and 318 (49.8%) had at least one visit to the emergency department since the beginning of their follow-up. Abdominopelvic CT-scan was performed in 141 (23.7%) of the 595 visits for digestive symptoms. Only 4.3% of these CT-scans were considered as normal; there was luminal inflammation without complication in 24.8%, abscess, fistula or perforation in 22.7%, mechanical bowel obstruction in 36.9% and diagnosis unrelated to CD in 11.3%. In univariate analysis, stricturing phenotype (OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.16-5.29; p = 0.02) and previous surgery (OR, 2.90; 95% CI, 1.37-6.14; p = 0.005) were predictive factors of finding a complication of CD using abdominopelvic CT-scan, whereas no independent predictive factor was statistically significant in multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSION In CD patients consulting in emergency department, CT-scan examination was performed in 24% of visits for digestive symptoms and complications of CD were found in 60%. Complications were more frequent in patients with stricturing phenotype and previous surgery.

as reported in: BMC Emerg Med. 2021 10 7; 21(1): 113