Ulcerative Colitis: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose ulcerative colitis?

In order to diagnose ulcerative colitis, physicians combine information gathered from several different tests. Normally UC is diagnosed by a combination of:

  • History and physical exam: A doctor will examine your child and ask about his or her health in the past.
  • Growth curves: These are a measurement of how children are growing compared to their peers.
  • Blood tests
  • Upper intestinal endoscopy and colonoscopy with biopsies: A surgeon will use a tiny camera to examine the insides of your child’s GI tract, then take a small amount of tissue from the areas affected by Crohn’s to look at the cells under a microscope.
  • MRI
  • CT Scan

How do doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

The doctors at Children’s Colorado make a diagnosis by assessing a combination of information including medical history and physical exam, blood tests, upper intestinal endoscopy and colonoscopy with biopsies and some form of radiologic evaluation such as MRI or CT scan.