With Noa Krugliak Cleveland, MD, Director, Intestinal Ultrasound Program

With a partnership with the International Bowel Ultrasound Group, the University of Chicago Medicine is engaged in a new multi-phase initiative to bring widespread diagnostic use of bedside intestinal ultrasound (IUS) to North America. IUS, already widely used in Europe, will provide IBD patients with a non-invasive abdominal ultrasound exam as part of their regular clinic visits, so that their doctors can monitor their disease activity in real time.

“As a physician, I have to say, it is game-changing,” explains Noa Krugliak Cleveland, MD, Director of the Intestinal Ultrasound Program at the University of Chicago Medicine. “With intestinal ultrasound, without pain or discomfort, you can help the patient monitor their disease. It is an incredibly accurate tool and the only tool we have that gives real-time results during a clinic visit.”

In 2022, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded a $1.6 million dollar grant to David T. Rubin, MD, Noa Krugliak Cleveland, MD, Kerri Novak, MD, and Michael Dolinger, MD, to help expand intestinal ultrasound education and access in the United States. As part of this multi-year program, the first of three Hands-On Intestinal Ultrasound Training Workshops for gastroenterologists was held at the University of Chicago, March 16-18, 2023, featuring international IUS leaders from around the world.

Noa Krugliak Cleveland, MD and volunteer patient using GI Ultrasound machine at River East location. Photo credit: Jordan Porter-Woodruff

Noa Krugliak Cleveland, MD and volunteer patient using GI Ultrasound machine at River East location. Photo credit: Jordan Porter-Woodruf

Even for gastroenterologists and experts in IBD, developing the capacity to perform and interpret ultrasounds takes time and experience. At the workshop, participants learned techniques from IUS experts from the US, Europe, and Canada, and practiced on volunteer patients and special IUS simulators. Following the workshop, participants will develop their skills further with two week one-on-one hands on training sessions with Dr. Krugliak Cleveland at the University of Chicago (only one of two centers to currently offer personalized training in the U.S.).

Part of this education program also funded the creation of the Intestinal Ultrasound Groups of the Unites States and Canada (iUSCAN) under the direction of Dr. Krugliak Cleveland, Dr. Michael Dolinger from Mount Sinai, NY, and Dr. Kerri Novak from University of Calgary, Canada. The mission of iUSCAN is to advance IUS to become standard of care for patients with IBD across the U.S. and Canada.

UChicago Medicine is home to one of the leading centers for IBD and one of two centers in the U.S. offering IUS for IBD disease monitoring, with a growing team of six gastroenterologists who are trained and performing intestinal ultrasound. Since the inception of the program, there are a rapidly increasing number of institutions interested in and newly training IBD experts to bring IUS to medical centers throughout North America.

“It’s the future of IBD care,” says Dr. Krugliak Cleveland, “And I’m so happy we are, at UChicago, leading the way.”


Read about Dr. Krugliak Cleveland’s 2022 grant from the GI Research Foundation