Although often clinical symptoms and first investigations arouse the suspicion of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), clinical features, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, or rectal bleeding, are not specific for either CD or UC. As no single diagnostic criterion proves IBD, and several other diseases can mimic CD or UC, accurate patient profiling, including patient history, endoscopy, lab investigations, ultrasound, and MRI is needed to make the final diagnosis.
Differential diagnosis varies with the type of symptoms, site of involvement, and the duration of symptoms and includes, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, celiac disease, and infection disorders, but also rare diseases such as auto-immune enteropathy.
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