Ex vivo histology-correlated optical coherence tomography in the detection of transmural inflammation in Crohn's disease

Bo Shen, Gregory Zuccaro, Terry L. Gramlich, Natalie Gladkova, Bret A. Lashner, Conor P. Delaney, Jason T. Connor, Feza H. Remzi, Margaret Kareta, Charles L. Bevins, Felix Feldchtein, Scott A. Strong, Marlene L. Bambrick, Patricia Trolli, Victor W. Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Distinguishing Crohn's disease (CD) from ulcerative colitis (UC) can be difficult. Transmural inflammation, a key feature of CD, cannot be assessed by conventional colonoscopy with biopsy. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides high-resolution, cross-sectional images of the gut wall and might become a new diagnostic tool. The aims of this study were to perform histology-correlated OCT on surgical specimens of CD and UC and to determine its diagnostic accuracy. Methods: Colectomy specimens from patients with a preoperative diagnosis of CD (N = 24) or UC (N = 24) were studied with OCT in the operating room. OCT and histopathology were assessed blindly, and diagnostic accuracy of OCT was assessed. Results: Eight preoperatively identified UC patients (33%) with transmural inflammation on postoperative histology were diagnosed with CD, and all 8 had a disrupted layered structure on OCT, a characteristic feature of transmural disease. Sixteen UC patients (67%) had superficial inflammation on histology; of them, 13 (81%) had an intact layered structure on OCT. All 24 preoperative CD patients had transmural inflammation on histology, and 23 (96%) had a disrupted layered structure on OCT. Of 585 histology-OCT image sets from the 48 patients, 152 sets (26%) had transmural inflammation on histology. The sensitivity and specificity for OCT to detect transmural disease were 86% and 91%, respectively. Conclusions: Transmural inflammation, as characterized by disruption of the layered structure of colon wall on OCT, is an accurate marker for the diagnosis of CD. Ex vivo OCT predicted transmural inflammation on postoperative histopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-760
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • CD
  • CT
  • Crohn's disease
  • EUS
  • IBD
  • IC
  • IPAA
  • MRI
  • OCT
  • UC
  • computed tomography
  • endoscopic ultrasound
  • ileal pouch-anal anastomosis
  • indeterminate colitis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • optical coherence tomography
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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