MR enterography

Crohn’s disease often affects  young patients, who are most vulnerable to the potential adverse effects of repeated exposure to ionizing radiation from CT scans performed for diagnosis and surgical planning. The small intestine is the bowel segment that is most frequently affected. Magnetic resonance (MR) enterography has the potential to safely and noninvasively meet the imaging needs of patients with Crohn disease without exposing them to ionizing radiation.

How is MR enterography performed?

This is performed after oral ingestion of 1.5-2 litres of enteral contrast, which helps to distend the bowel.
MR enterography takes 30-40 minutes of scanning time compared to 10-20 seconds with modern CT scanners.

What are the advantages of MR enterography?

MR enterography has higher sensitivity than CT scan in detecting intestinal and extraintestinal changes in Crohn’s disease.
Other important advantages of MR compared with computed tomography include better tissue contrast and absence of exposure to radiation
The excellent tissue contrast obtained on magnetic resonance imaging can also be used to differentiate between fibrotic and acute inflammatory disease. This differentiation is clinically useful, as fibrotic disease may need surgery, whereas inflammatory disease may benefit from medical treatment.

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