MR enterography

MR enterography is a non-invasive technique for diagnosis of small bowel disorders.

MR enterography is most commonly used to evaluate patients with Crohn disease where it is used for assessment of the primary disease and any complications. Other indications include celiac disease, postoperative adhesions, radiation enteritis, scleroderma, small bowel malignancies, and polyposis syndromes.

The precise details of the procedure vary depending on local protocol. An example protocol might include 1,2:

  • abstinence from all food and drink for 4-6 hours prior to the study
  • oral administration of 1-1.5 L of2.5% mannitol solution at regular intervals over a period of approximately 40 minutes prior to the study
    • hyperosmolar mannitol draws fluid into the bowel
    • provides biphasic improved MRI soft tissue contrast:
      • low signal intensity on T1-weighted images
      • high signal intensity on T2-weighted images
  • scan using a 1.5 T MRI scanner
  • coil: phased array surface coil
  • position: supine or prone
  • comprehensive MR examination of the small bowel usually requires axial and coronal both T1 and T2 weighted images
  • high-resolution ultra-fast sequences such as true fast imaging with steady-state precession (true FISP) and HASTE sequences with and without fat suppression are usually used
  • fat-suppressed three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted breath-hold gradient-echo images of the abdomen and pelvis before and after intravenous gadolinium-based contrast material administration


  • no ionizing radiation
  • excellent soft tissue contrast resolution
  • images can be acquired in customized planes
  • can detect mural small bowel disorders with possible extramural complications and also allows the detection of the extraintestinal solid organ pathologies
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Article information

rID: 30690
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • MRI Enterography
  • Magnetic resonance enterography
  • MR enterography (MRE)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: normal MR enterography
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  • Case 2: with Crohn disease
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  • Case 3: normal small bowel on cine MRI sequence
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  • Case 4: carcinoid on small bowel MRI
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