Research News 2023

USE-IT Trial - Update

In the first, a consensus established relevant ultrasound parameters of activity, response, and healing. This first phase is completed!

The second phase is a reliability study in which inter- and intra-rater reliability of ultrasound parameters has been assessed. Four Centers were involved (Maaser – Lueneburg, Novak – Calgary, Nylund – Bergen, Wilkens – Copenhagen), 56 cine loops were reviewed separately from three blinded central readers, and statistical data analysis was done for the inter-rater variability. The fine tuning of the intra-rater variability is in progress, so we hope to have the final USE-IT Score by mid-May.

The third phase is going to validate the USE-IT score of activity and its responsiveness in 17 centers worldwide, and the recruitment started now. During this validation study, a total of 110 patients must be recruited. The results of the IUS examinations will be compared with the two gold standards, MRE and Colonoscopy.

To reward the efforts in patient inclusion, the top three recruiters will receive a special prize!

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Finally, part IV aims to understand patient experience using depth focus groups with participants from the UK, Australia, USA, and Canada, in order to create the first patient-centered questionnaire on monitoring modalities. This questionnaire will be used in Part III as well. 

Two working groups are ongoing.

The first is on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in imaging for the diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease, to detect gaps in the current applicability of Artificial Intelligence, and to drive areas for future research. The working group is currently preparing a systematic review on the topic use of AI in IBD.

The second is working on the gaps in the use of intestinal ultrasound in IBD in order to set the goals for future research in these fields. Let by Dr. Cathy Lu in Calgary, Canada.

We would like to conclude with the wish that more and more physicians taking care of IBD patients embrace the IBUS community and continue the IBUS journey with us. As always, we strongly welcome your interest and participation in SciCom.

Research News 2023

Scientific Subcommittee Update 2023

New Scientific Committee Members:

Mariangela Allocca SCICOM CHAIR and Floris De Voogd


Our scientific committee has continued to be committed to its main goal of promoting scientific interactions in the IBUS community, which includes research collaborations between IBUS centers and providing research grants. Our recent activities have also focused on organizing workshops and establishing guidelines on the role of IUS in the management of IBD.


A multicenter project we are proud to be working on in collaboration with Alimentiv Inc. is the Helmsley USE-IT Project, which aims to develop an intestinal ultrasound score to evaluate inflammation and treatment response in Crohn’s disease.


A project led by one of our working groups is exploring the role of Artificial Intelligence in tools used to diagnose and monitor patients with IBD. Another working group is doing a workshop and systematic review on the research gaps in the use of IUS in IBD.


The committee wishes to thank Cathy Lu from Canada for her contributions and welcome the newly elected member, Floris De Voogd from the Netherlands!

Research News 2022

Scientific Subcommittee Update 2022

New Scientific Committee Members:

Britt Christensen, Mariangela Allocca, Tom Goodsall, Cathy Lu, Bram Verstockt, Michael Winter


Introduction on SciCom:

We have formed a fantastic new SciCom this year with a diverse membership group from around the world.

This year's first half has focused on outlining our priorities and aims. We are currently starting to work on a formal SciCom charter and developing our one and five-year plans. We are also developing official SOPs and reporting requirements for the IBUS ECCO research grant, which is currently being advertised, and we will start reviewing proposals once the deadline closes. Our team is working on a review article that aims to highlight research gaps in intestinal ultrasound. This year, we aim to develop an international study site registration and listing on the IBUS webpage. This aims to encourage more outstanding international collaboration with quality control checks in place. Going forward, we will also collaborate with the central reading interest group on the future direction of central reading in clinical trials. Finally, several of our members are part of the Helmsley project, USE-IT, that aims to develop a validated Crohn’s disease IUS score.

Mariangela Allocca


Mariangela Allocca is a senior gastroenterologist and a clinical researcher at the IBD Center, San Raffaele Hospital of Milan-Italy.

She has been adjunct Teaching Professor of Gastroenterology at Humanitas University from 2017 to 2021.

Her research is focused on non-invasive diagnostic and monitoring techniques, in particular on the investigation of the role of bowel ultrasound for the assessment of activity and complications in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

She is currently a member of the International Bowel Ultrasound Group (IBUS) and IBUS SciCom deputy chair.

Furthermore, she is a member of the European Crohn’s Colitis Organization (ECCO) and the Italian Group for the study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IG-IBD).

Dr. Allocca is involved in clinical trials for new treatments for inflammatory bowel disease in collaboration with many Italian, European and North-American centers.

She is the author and co-author of several peer-reviewed publications. In particular, she has developed and validated the Milan Ultrasound Criteria for ulcerative colitis and the Bowel Ultrasound Score for Crohn's disease for monitoring disease activity and severity of IBD by bowel ultrasound.

In addition, she is proactively involved in the production of ECCO guidelines, topical reviews, and workshops.


Britt Christensen

Britt Christensen is a senior gastroenterologist and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and a Clinical Associate Professor at University of Melbourne. Her research is focused on novel pathways of disease and treatment, infection and vaccination response in IBD, pregnancy and sexual function, and on histology, biomarkers, and prognostic markers of IBD, including intestinal ultrasound. She is the Chair of the Australian IBD Faculty, a board member of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, and the SciCom lead for IBUS.

Michael Winter


Michael Winter is a gastroenterologist in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, USA, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He joined Dartmouth-Hitchcock in 2019.

His research is focused on improving outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease through the use of non-invasive monitoring techniques, implementation of population management tools, and studying barriers to medication adherence.

He is involved in clinical trials for ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease focused on novel therapeutic targets as well as the use of hyperbaric oxygen in the management of ulcerative colitis.

He is currently a member of the International Bowel Ultrasound Group (IBUS) and IBUS SciCom committee.

Tom Goodsall


Tom Goodsall is a gastroenterologist and clinical lecturer at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia. He has established and leads the intestinal ultrasound service within the IBD unit. Tom completed an Intestinal Ultrasound Fellowship and is studying a Ph.D. with a focus on developing and validating ultrasound indices in Crohn’s disease for clinical trials, including centralised reading.

Tom is a member of IBUS and a representative on SciCom. He is also a member of the Gastroenterological Network of Intestinal Ultrasound (GENIUS), ECCO, and GESA. Tom is a passionate educator and plans to use his SciCom role to promote and develop strong collaborative research links and streamline global intestinal ultrasound research.

Floris De Voogd 

floris de voogd.png gray

Gastroenterologist, Department of Gastroenterology
and Hepatology, Academic Medical Center
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Bram Verstockt


Bram Verstockt, MD Ph.D., graduated medical at the KU Leuven, Belgium, in 2013. In 2015, he interrupted his residency to start his Ph.D. ‘Predicting outcome in IBD, a multi-omics approach – Creating opportunities for personalised medicine, which he defended in 2019. During the first year of his Ph.D., he worked at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. In 2021 he graduated as a gastroenterologist and joined the IBD staff at the University Hospitals Leuven. In 2022, he has been appointed as an assistant professor at the KU Leuven, Belgium.

After completing the IBUS curriculum, Bram introduced intestinal ultrasound at the tertiary IBD referral clinic in Leuven and currently aims to further expand its uptake around Belgium. He does clinical research on monitoring tools (including IUS) and real-life IBD data and is involved in various (inter)national studies as (principle) investigator. His translational research mainly focuses on the development of predictive and prognostic markers for more personalised medicine in IBD, as well as on unraveling IBD disease heterogeneity through multi-omics approaches and organoid models. Currently, Bram is a board member of the Y-ECCO committee, the international bowel ultrasound (IBUS) Scientific Committee, and co-founder of the COLLIBRI proteomics consortium in IBD. He is heading the Belgian IBD Biobank (BIO BIRD).

Bram holds a research mandate by the Clinical Research Fund KOOR at the University Hospitals Leuven. In the past, he held a Ph.D. and postdoc fellowship at the Flemish Foundation for Scientific Research (FWO) and received grants from the Helmsley Foundation, ECCO, IBUS, and the Belgian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research and Development Group. Recently, he was awarded the Research Council Award 2022 for Biomedical Sciences by the KU Leuven.

He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Crohn's and colitis. He serves as a reviewer for multiple journals (including Lancet, Nature Reviews, Gut, Gastroenterology, Lancet Gastroenterology, and Hepatology...), conferences (ECCO, DDW, and UEGW), and funding agencies (including European Research Council ERC, Agence Nationale de la recherche de France, Medical Research Council in the UK…).

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