CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Ultrasound Int Open 2021; 07(01): E14-E24
DOI: 10.1055/a-1474-8013

Gastrointestinal Ultrasound in Functional Disorders of the Gastrointestinal Tract - EFSUMB Consensus Statement

1   Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, "L.Sacco" University Hospital, Milano, Italy
Trygve Hausken
2   Department of Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
3   Department Allgemeine Innere Medizin, Kliniken Hirslanden Beau-Site, Salem und Permanence, Bern, Switzerland
Nadia Pallotta
4   Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Italy
Ioan Sporea
5   Department of Gastroenterology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Victor Babes Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania
6   Department of Gastroenterology, Universitatea de Vest din Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania
Dieter Nurnberg
7   Brandenburg Institute for Clinical Ultrasound (BICUS) – Medical University Brandenburg “Theodor Fontane”, Faculty of Medicine and Philosophy and Faculty of Health Sciences Brandenburg, Neuruppin, Germany
Klaus Dirks
8   Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, Rems-Murr-Klinikum Winnenden, Winnenden, Germany
Laura Romanini
9   Department of Radiology, Radiologia 1, Hospital of Cremona, Cremona, Italy
Carla Serra
10   Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, University of Bologna, Hospital of Bologna Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Polyclinic, Bologna, Italy
Barbara Braden
11   Translational Gastroenterology Unit, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
Zeno Sparchez
12   3rd Medical Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Odd Helge Gilja
13   Haukeland University Hospital, Haukeland University Hospital, and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
› Author Affiliations


Abdominal ultrasonography and intestinal ultrasonography are widely used as first diagnostic tools for investigating patients with abdominal symptoms, mainly for excluding organic diseases. However, gastrointestinal ultrasound (GIUS), as a real-time diagnostic imaging method, can also provide information on motility, flow, perfusion, peristalsis, and organ filling and emptying, with high temporal and spatial resolution. Thanks to its noninvasiveness and high repeatability, GIUS can investigate functional gastrointestinal processes and functional gastrointestinal diseases (FGID) by studying their behavior over time and their response to therapy and providing insight into their pathophysiologic mechanisms. The European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB) has established a Task Force Group consisting of GIUS experts, which developed clinical recommendations and guidelines on the role of GIUS in several acute and chronic gastrointestinal diseases. This review is dedicated to the role of GIUS in assisting the diagnosis of FGID and particularly in investigating patients with symptoms of functional disorders, such as dysphagia, reflux disorders, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits. The available scientific evidence of GIUS in detecting, assessing, and investigating FGID are reported here, while highlighting sonographic findings and its usefulness in a clinical setting, defining the actual and potential role of GIUS in the management of patients, and providing information regarding future applications and research.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Received: 10 October 2020

Accepted after revision: 01 April 2021

Article published online:
28 May 2021

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