MR enterography is valuable for determining extent of inflamed bowel, discriminating between active inflammation and chronic fibrosing disease, detecting fistulae, and detecting strictures. Additionally, MRI can provide excellent delineation of the course of perianal fistulas, including relationships to sphincters and levators.

Before undergoing MRI to evaluate the bowel, one drinks a little over one quart of a fluid that helps to distend the bowel, and an intravenous catheter is placed so that intravenous contrast can be administered.

Examples (click on images)

A patient with Crohns disease, now with bloating.  A loop with fixed narrowing shows early and persistent enhancement, indicative of active inflammation.A patient with Crohns disease, now with bloating.  A loop with fixed narrowing shows early and persistent enhancement, indicative of active inflammation.A patient with Crohns disease, now with bloating.  A loop with fixed narrowing shows early and persistent enhancement, indicative of active inflammation.Crohns disease with a fistula to the abdominal wall.  A small amount of contrast was injected during the MRI outlining the tract to colon.

References

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Last modified Sat, 9 Feb, 2013 at 6:43