CT enteroclysis: technique and clinical applications
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- Schmidt, S., Felley, C., Meuwly, J. et al. Eur Radiol (2006) 16: 648. doi:10.1007/s00330-005-0005-4
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CT enteroclysis (CTE) has been gradually evolving with technical developments of spiral and multidetector row CT technology. It has nowadays become a well-defined imaging modality for the evaluation of various small bowel disorders. Volume challenge of 2L of enteral contrast agent administrated to the small bowel via a nasojejunal catheter ensures luminal distension, the prerequisite for the detection of mural abnormalities, also facilitating the accurate visualization of intraluminal lesions. CT acquisition is centered on small bowel loops, reconstructed in thin axial slices and completed by multiplanar views. Image analysis is essentially done in cine-mode on work-stations. CTE is of particular diagnostic value in intermediate or advanced stages of Cohn's disease, including the depiction of extraintestinal complications. It has become the imaging modality of choice for the localization and characterization of small bowel tumors. The cause and degree of low-grade small bowel obstruction is more readily analyzed with the technique of CTE than conventional CT. Limitations of CTE concern the assessment of pure intestinal motility disorders, superficial mucosal lesions and arteriovenous malformations of the small bowel, which are not consistently visualized. CTE should be selectively used to answer specific questions of the small bowel. It essentially contributes to the diagnostic quality of modern small bowel imaging, and therefore deserves an established, well-defined place among the other available techniques.