, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1667-1674
Date: 13 Jan 2010

Does MRI with oral contrast medium allow single-study depiction of inflammatory bowel disease enteritis and colitis?

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To assess the feasibility and utility of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the bowel in concurrent small- and large-bowel evaluation for the presence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


Over a 5-year period, 62 MR examinations performed on 53 patients demonstrated evidence of IBD. Sixteen of these 53 (30.1%) patients had imaging findings of colonic disease and underwent 19 formal MR small bowel examinations. These were further evaluated for bowel distention and image quality. The sensitivity and specificity of the technique compared with colonoscopy as the ‘gold standard’ was evaluated.


Simultaneous imaging of the colon is feasible at MR small bowel follow-through with moderate-to-excellent colonic visibility and colon distention obtained when the contrast medium is present in the colon at the time of image acquisition. MR imaging had a sensitivity of 80% (0.56–0.93), specificity of 100% (0.77-1.00), positive predictive value (PPV) of 1 and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 0.8 for the identification of colitis (based on available concurrent correlation of 38/62 examinations with colonoscopy).


Small and large bowel MR imaging with orally consumed contrast medium represents a promising, feasible, non-invasive, non-radiating single mode of assessment of the entire gastrointestinal tract, performed at a single sitting.