Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 12, pp 1763–1770 | Cite as

Assessment of normal jejunum with diffusion-weighted imaging on MRE in children

  • Jordan B. RappEmail author
  • Sudha A. Anupindi
  • Carolina L. Maya
  • David M. Biko
Original Article



Diffusion restriction has been utilized as a marker for bowel inflammation on magnetic resonance enterography (MRE). However, diffusion restriction has been seen in otherwise normal appearing small bowel in patients without active inflammation, with little published data on this subject.


Assess diffusion restriction in normal loops of jejunum and to determine if there is a correlation to luminal distention, age, magnet field strength, slice thickness, and bowel segment location.

Materials and methods

A retrospective analysis of subjects with a normal MRE and clinical work-up was performed. The abdomen was divided into four quadrants. If available, two loops of jejunum were randomly chosen in each quadrant. Two radiologists evaluated the loops of jejunum for distension, wall thickness, enhancement and diffusion restriction. Disagreement was resolved by consensus. Presence of diffusion restriction was correlated with luminal distension, age, magnet field strength, slice thickness and abdominal quadrant.


One hundred ninety-seven loops of jejunum were evaluated in 39 subjects. Fifteen subjects (38.5%) had jejunal loops with diffusion restriction for a total of 28 loops. There was no correlation between diffusion restriction and luminal distension, age, magnet field strength or quadrant location (P>0.05, Pearson chi-squared test or Student’s t-tests). Of the 15 subjects with a loop demonstrating diffusion restriction, additional loops with diffusion restriction were found in 40%. There was a very weak trend observed for greater slice thickness in patients with jejunal diffusion restriction (Student’s t-test, P=0.10).


Jejunal diffusion restriction is a common finding in children with no clinical evidence of bowel pathology, irrespective of patient age, luminal distension, location of bowel loop and magnetic field strength. Further studies may be valuable in assessing the impact of slice thickness on subjective diffusion restriction in the jejunum.


Children Crohn disease Diffusion-weighted imaging Jejunum Magnetic resonance enterography Small bowel 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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