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Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » MRE vs. small bowel follow through


09-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
kernelmom3
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MRE vs. small bowel follow through

Hi again everyone! Grayson goes in for his MRE tomorrow and I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with it? After his perforation (and subsequent surgery) following his colonoscopy, then the abscess he's taking antibiotics for....I wanted to give him and his poor stomach a break. But they need a follow-up scan to check status of the abscess and need to see the rest of his abdomen to start Remicade. They originally wanted him to have a small bowel follow through but when my sister (who also has Crohn's) had that done (granted it was 20 years ago), the barium she had to drink hardened inside her and they had to pull it out from....well, you know.

I asked the radiologist and he said the barium for the MRE is different and less constipating. I've read a few things on here that say diarrhea can be a side effect. Just another choice to make!!
09-17-2014, 06:55 PM   #2
my little penguin
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DS had both .
Small bowel follow through was much harder - way too much radiation 15 plus X-rays
Took forever
Mre much easier .no radiation
Three cups is barium ( bring Kool aid single packets to add)
Drink that's it .
Just drink lots of water after wards to keep things moving.
DS was also on miralax
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09-17-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
Maya142
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My daughter has had both. She didn't have any trouble drinking barium for either of them, but did get very constipated from the small bowel follow through. It was not a pleasant experience, but all we had to do is give her extra Miralax for a week and that worked (took a whole week though before her poop was no longer white and was back to normal!)

We did both tests at a Children's Hospital and they added some sort of flavoring. She said it was pretty gross but managed to drink it.
Good luck!
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diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 16
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at 12
Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis at 16

Mom of S (23)
dx with JIA at 14
Ankylosing Spondylitis at 18
09-17-2014, 09:14 PM   #4
CrohnsKidMom
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My son had an MRE as well (was 8 yrs old at the time), and it was pretty straight forward. The nurse added water flavouring to the barium to help my son get it down. An IV is put in, and you wear hearing protection as the machine is quite loud. Your son will also have to hold his breath at different intervals while pics are being taken. I don't know the details of the technology, but I think an MRE utilizes magnets to get images, so there's no, or very little, radiation emitted. I hope it goes well!
09-17-2014, 09:30 PM   #5
my little penguin
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Mre - magnetic resonance entrography -
No radiation at all just high magnetic fields .
So no body piercings etc...
09-17-2014, 10:04 PM   #6
Mehita
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Tips from the trenches...

My son has had three MRE's and none have gone well for him. He's never been able to drink the whole amount and always ended up having and NG tube placed and the contrast pumped in that way. File that away if things go sour for your son.

Don't use a straw if possible, it adds air which can take prescious contrast space.

Like MLP said, try Kool Aid packets, but try to wait until he gets as far as he can, THEN add the Kool Aid to help finish things up.

He's going to have to hold his breath a lot, sometimes up to 20 seconds. I always sit outside the MRE and hold my sons hand. We created hand signals to communicate. I usually tap his hand as he's holding his breath and rub it for a good job. He squeezes mine if he needs a break, pinches me if he's going to be sick or have an uncontrolled BM (he's usually flaring at the time). You have to wear headphones because it's very, very loud.

He'll likely have an IV placed. About 2/3 of the way through, they may give him Glucagon via the IV to slow his bowels. This can make some people really nauseous and even vomit. Not everyone, but some. Bring an extra change of clothes just in case.

After drink lots and lots of water. Then drink lots and lots more to flush it all out.

Good luck!!
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Mom of DS, age 17, dx Crohn's and Celiac Oct 2008
- Remicade, started Nov 2013, added Solumedrol June 2015
- added Methotrexate/Folate March 2016
- Multivitamins, Probiotics, Vit D
- Small bowel resection, Jan 2013
09-18-2014, 12:07 AM   #7
kernelmom3
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Forgot to ask...any of your kids have abscesses, fistulas or strictures when MRE was done? DS is on oral antibiotics for an abscess right now and a CT in July showed narrowing near the ileum? GI knows about this but didn't seem to know much about the MRE so I didn't ask him....and don't know who TO ask!!!
09-18-2014, 04:19 AM   #8
xmdmom
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My son (21) had a stricture when he had his MRE. IT was the MRE that first showed the narrowing. He had no problems with the MRE. The MRE barium was a lot easier for him than the barium in the SBFT. Hope all goes well.
09-18-2014, 05:28 AM   #9
Ands
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My DS had his second MRI yesterday, he drank 3/4 of the watery drink that he was given. He had a line put in his arm, and had the anti bowel spasm injected in half way through the test, then had die put through after that.

He had the small bowel test to check things after colonoscopy showed a narrowing. Now the waiting game for results. We see our consultant on 15 October but I'm assuming if it is bad news we will hear sooner.

He's not gone into school today, rushed off to the loo several times and feels so achy. I think he must have been rigid for the hour of the test, hence everything sore today!!!

Good luck with your DS's test.

Xxxx
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Son Joseph diagnosed July 2012 (aged 10)
Crohn's: oesophageal, ileal, oral and perianal disease
6 week exclusive modulen
8 weeks predisolone
2 weeks azathioprine - stopped after reaction
6-MP 50mg - stopped June 2014 (after 18 months)
Currently on:
Sennoside 18ml daily
Multi Vitamin
Omeprazole 10mg
Prochlorperazine 2 x 5mg
Predisolone as a mouth-wash (as and when needed)
09-18-2014, 06:49 AM   #10
CrohnsKidMom
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kernelmom; no abscess, fistula, or stricture in my son's case at the time of his MRE.
09-18-2014, 06:50 AM   #11
Momtotwo
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My son (age 7) needed the NG tube placed because he couldn't drink the Volumen. Practice holding the breath for for counts of 5 and then ten prior to MRE. Call ahead and ask what they can do to make it easier. Our hospital isn't the most child-friendly. No child life specialist for the radiology dept. The protocol only allowed chocolate or strawberry flavoring. No Kool-Aid or fruit flavors. My son doesn't like either flavor hence the lack of success. We are going out of town if he needs another one and he can travel.
09-18-2014, 06:51 AM   #12
Momtotwo
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I refused the SBFT due to the radiation.
09-18-2014, 02:11 PM   #13
Jenn
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My son barely drank half of the solution, but it was enough. He had 2 MREs done, one to dx the fistula and one to see it closed after IV antibiotics. Early on with dx, he had the small bowel one, essentially a video xray, MRE is better detail. Good luck!
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currently on Humira, Feb 2012+, MTX (15mg) Aug 2017+, folic acid
past use: 6mp for Sep 2010-Apr 2011 (not effective enough), then Remicade April 2011-Dec 2011 (built antibodies); additional 6MP Aug 2012-Sep 2013; Periactin for appetite Sep 2010-Sep 2013
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09-18-2014, 02:18 PM   #14
Smile Please
 
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Hi again everyone! Grayson goes in for his MRE tomorrow and I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with it? After his perforation (and subsequent surgery) following his colonoscopy, then the abscess he's taking antibiotics for....I wanted to give him and his poor stomach a break. But they need a follow-up scan to check status of the abscess and need to see the rest of his abdomen to start Remicade. They originally wanted him to have a small bowel follow through but when my sister (who also has Crohn's) had that done (granted it was 20 years ago), the barium she had to drink hardened inside her and they had to pull it out from....well, you know.

I asked the radiologist and he said the barium for the MRE is different and less constipating. I've read a few things on here that say diarrhea can be a side effect. Just another choice to make!!
When my son had his last MRE done they did say it's like a laxative. They always want you to go the the restroom before the MRE and he did. But he had to go again right before they gave him the Ivy and shot. Before they inject to take the pretty picture of the gut.
09-18-2014, 09:15 PM   #15
Mehita
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My son did have a stricture, which is partly why he wasn't able to drink all the contrast... it just didn't have anywhere to go because of the stricture, so unfortunately came back up.

If your boy has a stricture, it will show on the MRE. They might even be able to compare it to the CT he had done to see if it's changed.
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