The Bergen Research Group for UltraSound in GastroEnterology (BRUSE)

The Bergen Research Group for UltraSound in GastroEnterology (BRUSE)

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Bergen Research Group for UltraSound in GastroEnterology

The Bergen Research Group for UltraSound in GastroEnterology (BRUSE) is world-renown for its research and novel clinical applications in the field of GI transabdominal and endoscopic ultrasonography. For 40 years doctors at Haukeland University Hospital and University of Bergen have utilized ultrasound in clinical practice to improve management of patients with digestive diseases. A wide range of methodology has been developed and validated by BRUSE researchers, such as endosonography, three-dimensional ultrasound, hydrosonography, strain rate imaging, contrast-enhanced ultrasound, sonoelastography, advanced visualization, and several novel techniques in GI motility. Particularly, in the field of GI motility, our methods have obtained international reputation as highly original and innovative and are now used world- wide. 

Based on this research, which has resulted in multiple dissertations and over 300 scientific papers, the ultrasound group was in 2001 rewarded by the Norwegian Health authorities a new center in excellent competence: National Centre of Ultrasound in Gastroenterology (NCUG). In 2013 researchers from BRUSE won the prestigious Dirk Bartz Prize awarded at Eurographics in Spain. In 2014, BRUSE was accredited the honor of being a European Centre for ultrasound education: “ULC Bergen”, with the consequence that doctors and researchers are now coming from all corners of the world to learn ultrasound in Bergen. Researchers from BRUSE have during the last 4 years contributed significantly in 9 different international clinical guidelines, all published in peer-reviewed European journals.

Prof. Odd Helge Gilja is the leader of BRUSE and past- President of EFSUMB, the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, and chairman of NCUG. BRUSE consists of several professors/sr. researchers, post-docs and PhD students, as well as numerous medical doctors and students performing ultrasound research in a unique environment.

In BRUSE, we have state-of-the-art scanners both for basic acoustic, in vitro, animal experimental and clinical studies that all contribute to the bridge from «bench-to-bedside». Translational ultrasound research is at the heart of BRUSE’s activities and we have engineers, physicists, basic researchers and clinicians working together to obtain convergence in science. BRUSE also have collaboration with local facilities such as The Vivarium, MIC, The PET-center and Dept. of Radiology to ensure comparison studies with other imaging modalities. We have a broad National network in scientific organizations and conduct 4-6 post-graduate courses each year throughout Norway. 

Gastrointestinal Ultrasound (GIUS) in IBD
Due to changes in treatment regimens and treatment goals for inflammatory bowel diseases, there is an increasing need for close monitoring. Improvements in image quality and resolution on ultrasound scanners have led to a clear view of the wall of the gastrointestinal tract and its separation from surrounding structures. Since GIUS is also a patient-friendly method, it has found its place in the follow-up of IBD patients. To improve the standardization and increase the use of GIUS in the daily follow-up of patients, there is a need for new clinical studies that look at relevant patient populations and compare accepted reference standards. We have recently developed and validated an ultrasound score for Crohn's disease and have also contributed to the development of a score for ulcerative colitis. We are currently conducting longitudinal observational studies where we see clinical outcomes in inflammatory bowel diseases and depending on the result, this could lead to projects where we use GIUS as a tool for clinical decisions.