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Crohn's Disease Forum » Tests for IBD » MRI for Crohn's


01-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
helena101
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MRI for Crohn's

Are MRI's for CD always done with contrast?
I had one done a year ago and I only drank water, there was no contrast, and nothing was injected intravenously.
It was really uncomfortable, as I had to drink 2 liters of water, then spend FOREVER in the MRI machine, and just when I thought my bladder was going to burst they pulled me out of the machine... Only to make me drink MORE water and send me right back in for another stretch of time (it felt like eternity). I was practically crying by the time it was over and running through the hospital looking for a bathroom.
I also don't think it was particularly effective, and I don't really think it gave a clear idea of what was going on in the small bowel.
I have changed doctors since then, and I want to ask him for another MRI, but I'm not sure exactly what I'm asking for. Is an MRI of the small bowel and an MRE the same thing? Also, what is the difference between magnetic resonance ENTEROGRAPHY and magnetic resonance ENTEROCLYSIS?
Any help would be much appreciated!
01-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #2
xmdmom
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My son is going to have an MRE (Enterography) so I was just reading about it. In a paper I read about MREs, it said you drink a low density barium solution, and also have gadolinium contrast (I believe IV) and also IV glucagon to decrease intestine movement (which can cause imaging artifact.) Not every hospital can do MREs. Our local one doesn't.

"MRE, MR enterography is a targeted examination of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the small intestine, without nasojejunal intubation (in which case
it is referred to as MR enteroclysis). The most common indication for MR enterography is known or suspected inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), specifically Crohn’s disease."
01-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
helena101
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Thank you! That's really helpful.
01-05-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
sawdust
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I posted my MRI experience in the wiki discussion under MRI Scan. It should link from the post here.

Drinking "the water" is part of what they need for you to drink. For this reason alone, I preferred it over the barium solution for a CT scan. I also got contrast intravenously while in the tube.

But you're right, it's alot of liquid and the MRI seems to take a fair amount of time. In my experience, it's much longer than a CT scan. My GI recommended the MRI because I have had lots of exposure to the CT machine.

As a patient, I'm not aware that one gives better intestinal imaging than the other (MRI vs CT), but I can say that I've shown Crohn's activity on both kinds of tests.
01-05-2013, 04:56 PM   #5
helena101
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Thanks sawdust!
01-06-2013, 05:13 PM   #6
Ihurt
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I had an MRE of small bowel. You have to drink three large bottles of thie contrast. It was awful for me. The stuff gave me awful diarhea and messed up my bladder( I have IC too). The glucagon shot almost made me puke while I was in the machine, that stuff was terrible. The MRE takes about a good 25 minutes( if you do not move at all and do exactly what they say. I almost did not make it out of the machine to the toilet afterwards! That stuff went right through me and gave me the runs. I dont think I will EVER do that test again, or at least not drink that crap, it is sooooo toxic...
01-07-2013, 01:03 AM   #7
helena101
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Thanks Ihurt!
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