Revista ABCd (São Paulo). 29 Mar, 2018


Márcio Alexandre Terra PASSOS
Fernanda Correa CHAVES
DOI: 10.1590/0102-672020180001e1374


Endoscopic evaluation, particularly the macroscopic mucosal and histological results of ileocolic biopsies, is essential for the management of inflammatory bowel disease. Endoscopic appearance is not always sufficient to differentiate Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but there are some characteristics that favor one or another diagnosis. Both diseases have an increased incidence of colorectal carcinoma; so, surveillance colonoscopy is important for detecting early neoplastic lesions.


To update the importance of endoscopy in the evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis of inflammatory bowel disease.


Search was done in the scientific literature of the TRIP database, chosen from clinical questions (PICO) with the following descriptors: “inflammatory bowel disease”, “endoscopy/colonoscopy”, “Crohn’s disease”, “ulcerative colitis” and “diagnosis/treatment”.


Endoscopic investigation in patients with chronic colitis is quite accurate for the differential diagnosis between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Endoscopy is indicated for ulcerative colitis during severe crisis due to its prognostic value. Another accepted indication for endoscopy in inflammatory bowel disease is its use in the screening for dysplastic lesion.


Ileocolonoscopy allows an accurate diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in up to 90% of cases. The healing of the mucosa assessed by endoscopy after treatments despite not being consensus is still the gold-standard in the evaluation of remission of the disease. Colonoscopy is essential for long-term cancer surveillance and in the future the implementation of Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy seems to be very promising in assessing the initial dysplasia.

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