What is the role of MRI in the diagnosis of peritonitis and abdominal sepsis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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MRI is an emerging imaging modality for the diagnosis of suspected intra-abdominal abscesses. Abdominal abscesses demonstrate decreased signal intensity on T1-weighted images and homogeneous or heterogeneous increased signal intensity on T2-weighted images; abscesses are observed best on gadolinium-enhanced, T1-weighted, fat-suppressed images as well-defined fluid collections with rim enhancement.

Limited availability and high cost, as well as the need for MRI-compatible patient support equipment and the length of the examination, currently limit its usefulness as a diagnostic tool in acute peritoneal infections, particularly for patients who are critically ill.

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