Which studies are used for the evaluation of the small bowel in the diagnosis of Crohn disease?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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MR enterography and CT enterography are increasingly being used for evaluation of the small bowel. Compared with SBFT, both of these studies are as sensitive and specific, and possibly more accurate, in detecting extraenteric complications, including fistulae and abscesses. [76] Because of the lack of radiation exposure, MR enterography is a particularly attractive option.

Owing to the differential water content, MRI can differentiate active inflammation from fibrosis as well as distinguish between inflammatory and (fixed) fibrostenotic lesions in Crohn disease. [68, 69, 70]

Studies have shown that MR enterography may be superior to CT enterography in the depiction of disease activity (eg, mural thickening and enhancement) [77] and in the detection of stricture presence. [78] In particular, the positive impact on medical or surgical management has been noted in evaluation of small bowel Crohn disease [79] ; these conclusions have been gathered by comparing findings on MR enterography to endoscopic evaluations and surgical pathology reports.

For more information, see Imaging in Crohn Disease.

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