Transabdominal bowel ultrasound (TABUS) is emerging as an attractive, noninvasive tool in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Patient and caregiver experience with TABUS is not well described. We aimed to determine pediatric patient and caregiver satisfaction with TABUS and the impact of IBD severity, gender, age, and a history of anxiety on satisfaction.
Pediatric patients (0–18 years old) with suspected IBD prospectively underwent baseline TABUS, magnetic resonance enterography (MRE), blood work, stool studies, and endoscopy. Patients and their caregiver each completed a cross-sectional satisfaction questionnaire (5-point Likert scale) after the baseline investigations.
There were 54 patients included (67% male). The majority were completely satisfied and strongly agree TABUS was better tolerated than other investigations, regardless of disease severity (P > 0.05). Patients with higher Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn Disease (SES-CD) scores felt that TABUS increased their understanding of their IBD (P < 0.05) and disease location (P < 0.05). Patients with Crohn disease had similar responses to those with ulcerative colitis, but more strongly agreed that TABUS was better than MRE and endoscopy (P < 0.05). Those with anxiety did not have an increased level of worry about potential ultrasound findings (P > 0.05).
Pediatric patients and their caregivers were highly satisfied with TABUS, preferring it to other modalities. It did not lead to increased worry, and was particularly important in those with severe IBD. These findings support wider implementation of this well tolerated and preferred monitoring tool in pediatrics.