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Radiographics. 2012 Sep-Oct;32(5):1423-44. doi: 10.1148/rg.325115088.

Effectiveness of MR enterography for the assessment of small-bowel diseases beyond Crohn disease.

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Department of Radiologic Imaging, Hôpital Robert Debré, Avenue du Général Koenig, 51092 Reims, France.


The use of cross-sectional imaging techniques for the noninvasive evaluation of small-bowel disorders is increasing. The effectiveness of magnetic resonance (MR) enterography for the evaluation of Crohn disease, in particular, is well described in the literature. In addition, MR enterography has an evolving though less well documented role to play in the evaluation of other small-bowel diseases, including various benign and malignant neoplasms arising in isolation or in polyposis syndromes such as Peutz-Jeghers, inflammatory conditions such as vasculitis and treatment-induced enteritis, infectious processes, celiac disease, diverticular disease, systemic sclerosis, and bowel duplication. MR enterography may be useful also for the evaluation of intermittent and low-grade small-bowel obstructions. Advantages of MR imaging over computed tomography (CT) for enterographic evaluations include superb contrast resolution, lack of associated exposure to ionizing radiation, ability to acquire multiplanar primary image datasets, ability to acquire sequential image series over a long acquisition time, multiphasic imaging capability, and use of intravenous contrast media with better safety profiles. MR enterography also allows dynamic evaluations of small-bowel peristalsis and distensibility of areas of luminal narrowing and intraluminal masses by repeating sequences at different intervals after administering an additional amount of the oral contrast medium. Limitations of MR enterography in comparison with CT include higher cost, less availability, more variable image quality, and lower spatial resolution. The advantages and disadvantages of MR enterography performed with ingestion of the oral contrast medium relative to MR enteroclysis performed with infusion of the oral contrast medium through a nasoenteric tube are less certain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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