Referrals for bowel ultrasound in clinical practice: A survey in 12 nationwide centres in Italy

Giovanni Maconi, Fulvia Terracciano, Ilario de Sio, Caterina Rigazio, Paola Roselli, Elisa Radice, Luigi Castellano, Fabio Farci, Giampiero Francica, Andrea Giannetti, Federico Marcucci, Andrea Dalaiti, Matteo Badini, Mirella Fraquelli, Sara Massironi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The value of ultrasound (US) in assessing gastrointestinal diseases is well documented, but its demand in clinical practice is unknown. This survey evaluated the demand for bowel US in Italy. Methods: Twelve sonographers of the Gastroenterology Section of the Italian Society of Ultrasound participated in a 1-month survey; they compiled a questionnaire assessing total number of patients referred for abdominal US and for gastrointestinal tract US, type of referring physician, indications and results of examinations. Results: The survey included 2424 examinations, 586 of which (24%) investigated the gastrointestinal tract: 280 for signs or symptoms and 268 for follow-up of pre-existing gastrointestinal diseases. Referring physicians were mainly gastroenterologists (78%) and general practitioners (13%). Organic lesions were found or suspected in 292 examinations. Conclusions: Bowel US is used in Italy in routine practice, mainly by gastroenterologists and general practitioners, both for follow-up of pre-existing diseases and for gastrointestinal complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Bowel ultrasound
  • Clinical practice
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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