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Not urgent... just a question on test results


Staff member
Not sure how to interpret Stephen's test results... They were 'good' but I'm just wondering if there's any cause for concern or 'watchfulness'???

Stephen had an u/s at the beginning of Oct and then an MRE mid-November. Unfortunately, since then, his follow-up appointment has been postponed 4 times! From Nov 2 to 30 to Feb 2 to Feb 22. :( As there haven't been any serious issues, I was okay with the first couple of delays, a bit more annoyed with the 3rd and, this time, ticked off! By the time we actually see the GI, the tests will be months out of date! Anyway... the IBD nurse called me back and offered to review all the results and put him on a cancellation list.

So, the results are:

In May, when diagnosed, his tests (endo-, colonoscopy, u/s, biopsy) showed inflammation/thickening in his colon, TI and a little in his duodenum.

October U/S showed some inflammation/thickening in his colon, cecum, terminal ileum and distral (spelling??) ileum.

6 weeks later, MRE showed no inflammation in his colon, cecum or d.ileum but still showed some patches in his TI and small intestine (altho smaller patches then in October).

She couldn't tell me if the fact that fewer/smaller areas affected are due to gradual improvement or if the disease is just moving around. She said the enteral nutrition seems to be keeping the disease 'at bay'. And she said, given the amount/level of inflammation, it was okay to wait until end of February for next follow up.

Does this seem right? When you are considered to be in remission, does that mean that there is NO inflammation? Or would it be reasonable to have 'some' inflammation that is 'at bay' with almost no symptoms?

The only symptoms he's had lately have been some constipation/hard stools with resulting fissures. But, with just at-home treatments (prune juice, sitz baths), these issues seem treatable. But, could they be an indication of other inflammation?

I'm not hugely worried as he has been fine but just wondering if you think I should be extra vigilant for any change before Feb. 22???

Thanks :)


Super Moderator
Hey Tess,

Okay, my two cents worth...

First up I would have to say improvement as the affected areas have reduced. I don't know about moving around except for the area described as small bowel, what does she mean by small bowel?

It remains in his TI where it has been from the outset but the small bowel is made up of the duodenum, jejunum and the ileum, which includes the terminal ileum and caecum. The distal ileum is the area adjoining the terminal ileum. So depending on what they mean by small bowel it may still be present in one of those areas mentioned previously. If that is the case then it hasn't moved around. CD is characterised by skip areas so "moving around" may not be the case in that sense as well, it may just mean that it has shown up close to where it was before. Does that make sense?
If you can get clarification on small bowel.

As to remission, well for some it is an absence of all inflammation BUT having read through many, many posts on here I know that people do have very mild inflammation, as seen on scopes, but remain symptom free for long periods of time. So for them remission. Any persistent symptoms though, in my mind, would not be true remission. I guess another way to look at it though is some people may have mild Crohn's and have symptoms that are easily managed and so although not technically in remission it doesn't impact on their ability to function.

Hope that makes sense!

Dusty. xxx


Staff member
Thanks Dusty. Am going to have to pull out a diagram and have a closer look as to where caecum and distal ileum, etc. are and try to make sense of what she said. I'm going to send them an email and ask that they forward me the actual u/s and mre report.

You said 'Any persistent symptoms though, in my mind, would not be true remission' - do you include mild inflammation as a 'persistent symptom' or do you mean more obvious symptoms (ie. pain, diarrhea, etc.)?

In your opinion, do you think continued inflammation, even if mild, in the same location (i.e. TI) will eventually cause additional problems such as scarring, strictures, etc.? Or, if it remains mild, could it have no consequences? I know... 'who knows what will happen'??? Not even sure it's worth asking these questions as there's probably no answer! LOL Guess I'm still just trying to get a better understanding of how it all works and be able to anticipate...

(And just got frustrating news... Stephen played his first hockey game at school today, after his shoulder injury and hurt his knee! :( He is so upset :( :( I feel so sorry for him, he has been so, so excited to play this weekend :( )


Super Moderator
The caecum is a pouch at the beginning of the large bowel, at the point where the ileocaecal valve joins the large and small bowel.

I was more thinking along the lines of obvious symptoms, so yes, pain etc.

I think given time even mild inflammation will cause physical changes like scarring and perhaps will eventually require something to be done about it, particularly given Stephen's age if he were to fall into this category. Perhaps like one of those people that are diagnosed and then 20 years later require surgery for narrowing. But like you say...'who knows what will happen'???

Argh! that sucks. :( I hear you loud and clear Tess, I know only too well what it is like for Matt when he can't play soccer and how it makes me feel...:hug:

Dusty. :heart:

Crohn's Mom

Tess, Ill leave the answering of the difficult questions to Dusty :lol:
I just wanted to stop by with some virtual hugs for you!!
I'm so sorry about his knee..that must be so upsetting for him! :(

I hope things aren't getting worse..hang in there ! :hug:


Staff member
Thanks Dusty... your explanation really helped me put together about a million diagrams (couldn't find one diagram that was detailed enough! :ywow:) I think I finally know the anatomy inside-out! :D Wish I'd known this before I spoke with the nurse... but, that's okay... will be better prepared when I finally speak to his GI (who, by the way, is an Aussie! I think that's why our appointments are delayed - think he's headed off to the sun!)

And, thanks T (go Gab go...:poo: pun intended! I hope she's home really soon!!!). Was looking up anatomy of the knee and ligament damage symptoms in between my digestive tract searches! :lol: Poor guy, finally gets on the ice (non contact school game) and collides knee to knee! Apparently, it was quite the hit with him flipping, rolling two or three times! Hopefully, its not too bad... can stand on it, swelling isn't too bad... but can't bend it and says it feels sort of 'wobbly' - hence the ligament searches! But, he says he now sure his shoulder has healed.

He made me laugh though... he likes to sing, and this evening was singing the Beatle's Yesterday. But, he changed the words to something like this:

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they're here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, I'm not half the player I used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, the hit came suddenly.

Why he came
I don't know he didn't say.
I said something wrong,
Now I long to play.

Yesterday, hockey was such an easy game to play.
Now I'm lame and cannot play.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

At least he's being a good sport about it...


Super Moderator
Your GI is an Aussie! Fair dinkum! Sorry couldn't resist. :ybiggrin:

I hope the knee is nothing serious and he is soon on the mend.

Ahahaha, that is just the best Tess! Go Stephen!

Dusty. xxx
Oh, Stephen...thanks for the laughs!! I almost spit my coffee out!
...and Dusty, I had to Google fair dinkum...thanks for expanding my vocabulary tonight. Thought you were calling him a name lol!
So sorry about Steven's knee! Love the song though. Caitlyn also is a singer. When she is in a good mood she sings constantly. I also have to agree with what DustyKat said about the results. It sounds like things are improving and that is great. I hope it continues. Only Good things!