ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Abdominal barium X-ray showing the intestine in Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause that mainly affects the small intestine, although the colon & anus may also be involved. Affected gut becomes thickened & pitted with fissured ulcers. Chronic disease may cause obstruction, leading to pain, diarrhoea & malabsorption (reduction in nutrient absorption). Complications include fistulae formation (abnormal junctions between structures) around the anus, between adjacent bowel loops, or from the gut into surrounding organs. Treatment ranges from maintenance steroids to surgery.
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