, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1963-1971
Date: 27 Apr 2012

Magnetic resonance colonography in severe attacks of ulcerative colitis

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To evaluate the ability of MR colonography (MRC) to detect lesions in severe attacks of ulcerative colitis (UC) and to assess its concordance with rectosigmoidoscopy.


Eighteen patients underwent MRC and rectosigmoidoscopy. MRC consisted of a water-filled colonic procedure followed by T1/T2w images. Image quality was recorded. Inflammatory lesions and the existence of signs of severity were analysed. We calculated MR accuracy in the diagnosis of inflammatory lesions, as well as per segment and per patient concordance depending on the presence or absence of severe lesions.


The MR image quality of the 108 segments was satisfactory. Endoscopy was used to study 36 segments (rectum and sigmoid). MRC had a positive predictive value of 100% and a sensitivity of 64% in the diagnosis of inflammatory lesions. Concordance for the diagnosis of severe lesions was excellent for the rectum (k = 0.85) and good for the sigmoid (k = 0.64). MRC diagnosed signs of severity in all patients affected at endoscopy. MRC also disclosed signs of severity located higher in the colon in four patients with nonsevere lesions at rectosigmoidoscopy.


MRC can accurately diagnose inflammatory lesions in severe attacks of UC and significantly correlates with rectosigmoidoscopy in the diagnosis of severe lesions.

Key Points

Magnetic Resonance Colonography (MRC) is increasingly used to investigate the large bowel.

MRC seems accurate in diagnosing inflammatory lesions in severe attacks of UC.

MRC findings significantly correlate with rectosigmoidoscopy findings for severe lesions.

Unlike rectosigmoidoscopy, MRC can identify severe lesions throughout the colon.