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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2000 Feb;11(2):127-35.

Crohn's disease evaluation: comparison of contrast-enhanced MR imaging and single-phase helical CT scanning.

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Sharp and Children's MRI Center, Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, California 92123, USA.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of gadolinium and barium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in detecting intestinal and extraintestinal Crohn's disease and compare MRI with contrast-enhanced helical computed tomography (CT). Twenty-six patients with Crohn's disease underwent imaging examinations, including gadolinium-enhanced, fat suppressed fast multiplanar spoiled gradient-recalled (FMPSPGR) MR imaging with oral 2% barium sulfate and rectal water and with helical CT using i.v. and positive (13) or negative (13) intestinal contrast material. MR images and CT scans were reviewed separately by two radiologists for bowel wall thickness and enhancement, presence of abscess, phlegmon, and fistula. MR images and CT scans were then compared side by side. Surgical, endoscopic, and histopathologic findings and results of barium studies were reviewed to determine the location and severity of involvement of intestinal Crohn's disease. Depiction of mural thickening and/or enhancement was superior on the MR images, which showed 55 (85%) and 52 (80%) of 65 abnormal bowel segments for the two observers, compared with helical CT, which showed 39 (60%) and 42 (65%; P < 0.001, P < 0.05) of bowel segments affected by Crohn's disease. Segments of bowel with moderate or marked mural thickening were depicted equally on MR imaging and helical CT. In mildly diseased segments of bowel, with only slight thickening and enhancement, MR imaging depicted 22 (79%) and 19 (68%) of 28 segments, compared with helical CT, which depicted 9 (32%; P < 0.01), and 13 (46%; P > 0.05) of 28 segments. In the side-by side comparison, MR imaging was preferred over helical CT for depicting normal bowel wall (MR 71%, CT 4%, equal 25%; P < 0.001), mural thickening (MR 41%, CT 11% equal 48%; P < 0.01), mural enhancement (MR 89%, equal 11%; P < 0.001), and overall GI tract evaluation (MR 52%, CT 10%, equal 38%; P < 0.001). Gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging with oral dilute barium sulfate and rectal water depicts intestinal and extraintestinal changes of Crohn's disease and shows promise as a clinically useful tool.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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