Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center | IBD Diagnosis

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 1-617-355-6058
  • International: +01-617-355-5209

At the Boston Children’s IBD Center, our experts see more than 5,000 patients each year, including the most complex cases, such as early onset IBD. That experience helps our physicians quickly and accurately diagnose patients and develop a targeted treatment plan.

We also offer:

  • Advanced testing options not widely available: We offer video capsule endoscopy and MR enterography – minimally invasive, radiation-free procedures that provide detailed info pinpointing the location and severity of inflammation. These tests allow patients who may require ongoing imaging tests to avoid high levels of radiation, which is a significant benefit for children.
  • Convenient, local testing: Testing options are available at several satellite locations, so families can get testing done closer to home. Some clinicians also see patients at these locations.

Diagnosing IBD in Children: What to Expect

Many parents bring their child or teen to the pediatrician when they first become concerned about diarrhea and blood in the stool. After ordering some blood work, the pediatrician may refer you to our team at the IBD Center.

We may repeat some tests or perform new ones to confirm the diagnosis or learn more about how IBD affects you or your child – such as its location and severity.

Once we have an accurate diagnosis, we will meet with you to discuss the results and a customized care plan.

Common Tests for IBD

Your physician may recommend one or several of the following tests commonly used to diagnose Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:

  • Blood tests: Use blood samples later tested in a lab to detect anemia or inflammation
  • Stool analysis: Tests performed in a lab on a stool sample to check for bleeding or infection
  • Endoscopy: Procedure involving a long, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope inserted through the mouth and down the intestinal tract to the small intestine. The doctor can check for inflammation, bleeding, ulcers and other growths and possibly treat some problems that are discovered.
  • Colonoscopy: This procedure involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope in through the rectum and into the colon. The colonoscope allows the doctor to check the lining of the colon for inflammation, bleeding, ulcers and other growths; and possibly treat some problems that are discovered.
  • Video capsule enterography: Patients swallow a tiny pill that contains a camera that can take pictures as it travels through the digestive tract.
  • MR enterography: Advanced imaging test that uses a magnetic field, not radiation, to capture high-resolution image of the small bowel.
  • Biopsy: During the endoscopy or colonoscopy, your doctor will most likely remove a tiny sample of tissue. Our pathologists will examine this under a microscope to get more information about the patient’s condition.
  • Imaging studies: Performed by a specialist using different methods, these allow doctors to have a look at areas that the endoscope can’t see. Imaging tests include CT scans and MRIs and, unlike endoscopy and colonoscopy, are non-invasive.

Make an Appointment

For more information, appointments or a second opinion, please call the Boston Children’s IBD Center at 617-355-6058 or request an appointment online.

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337