Video-laparoscopic assessment of the small bowel in Crohn’s disease: a comparative study to evaluate surgeons’ inter-observer variability

V.Celentano, E. Garofalo*, A. Spinelli, G. Pellino, K. Flashman, M. Frasson, M. Carvello, N. de’Angelis, A. Garcia-Granero, M. Harper, J. Warusavitarne, M. Coleman, F. Selvaggi, Eloy Espin-Basany

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Assessment of the entire small bowel is advocated during Crohn’s disease (CD) surgery, as intraoperative detection of new lesions may lead to change in the planned procedure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inter-observer variability in the assessment of extent and severity of CD at the small bowel laparoscopic “walkthrough”. Methods: A survey on laparoscopic assessment of the small bowel in patients with CD, including items adapted from the MREnterography or ultrasound in Crohn's disease (METRIC) study and from the classification of severity of mesenteric disease was developed by an invited committee of colorectal surgeons. Anonymous laparoscopic videos demonstrating the small bowel “walkthrough” in ileocolonic resection for primary and recurrent CD were distributed to the committee members together with the anonymous survey. The primary outcome was the rate of inter-observer variability on assessment of strictures, dilatations, complications and severity of mesenteric inflammation. Results: 12 assessors completed the survey on 8 small bowel walkthrough videos. The evaluation of the small bowel thickening and of the mesenteric fat wrapping were the most reliable assessments with an overall agreement of 87.1% (k = 0.31; 95% CI − 0.22, 0.84) and 82.7% (k = 0.35; 95% CI − 0.04, 0.73), respectively. The presence of strictures and pre-stenotic dilatation demonstrated agreement of 75.2% (k = 0.06: 95% CI − 0.33, 0.45) and 71.2% (k = 0.33; 95% CI 0.15, 0.51), respectively. Evaluation of fistulae had an overall agreement of 75.3%, while there was a significant variation in the evaluation of mild, moderate and severe mesenteric disease with overall agreement ranging from 33.3 to 100%. Conclusion: Laparoscopic assessment of the small bowel thickening and of the presence of mesenteric fat wrapping is reliable for the intraoperative evaluation of CD with high inter-rater agreement. There is significant heterogeneity in the assessment of the severity of the mesenteric disease involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-1384
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Colorectal surgery
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ileocaecal resection
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Laparoscopic surgery


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