CT and MR Enteroscopy
Advanced imaging options for IBD diagnosis.
The first step in our care for your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an accurate diagnosis of your specific condition. One way our team stands apart from other providers is our focus on precisely diagnosing your specific form of IBD or other condition affecting the digestive tract through either a CT or MR enterography.
The information we gather about your condition during a CT or MR enterography can give us an advantage when it comes to creating your personalized treatment plan.
What is CT enterography?
Computed tomography (CT) enterography is a quick, accurate and painless procedure that results in a detailed evaluation of your intestines. During this noninvasive procedure, we use a series of X-rays, along with contrast material, to capture images of a variety of intestinal issues. These issues may include:
- Abscesses (a collection of pus or infected fluid surrounded by inflamed tissue)
- Bowel obstruction
- Fistulas (an abnormal opening in the stomach or intestines)
What to expect during your CT enterography
Before your procedure, we’ll give you some contrast material to drink. Next, we’ll position you comfortably on the CT table and insert an intravenous (IV) catheter in your arm. We’ll give you a type of dye through your IV. This lets us better see inside your digestive tract.
Next, you’ll hold your breath as we scan you, which typically takes 20 to 30 seconds. We’ll take several images of your intestines during the scan. The entire process for your exam will take about 1.5 hours.
Afterward, you can eat and drink as normal, and you can drive yourself home. Your doctor will review your CT images and use them to rule in or rule out causes of your symptoms.
What is MR enterography?
Magnetic resonance (MR) enterography uses magnetic fields, rather than X-rays, to create detailed images of your internal organs. Like CT enterography, we use a contrast material that you drink to highlight your small intestine. We use MR enterography to see inflammation in your small intestine, as well as abscesses or blockages.
One benefit of MR enterography is its lack of radiation. If you have Crohn’s disease, you may need regular scans of your small intestine to determine whether your treatment plan is working. MR enterography is often a good choice for younger patients, since radiation exposure is cumulative (building over time), as well as those who may need many scans.
What to expect during your MR enterography
We’ll give you some contrast material to drink before your procedure. Next, we’ll position you on an exam table. You will need an IV with some additional contrast material.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine will scan you. You’ll be able to talk to the technologists operating the machine. The machine may make various humming, clicking and thumping noises during the test, which is normal.
Afterward, you can eat and drink as usual, and you should be able to drive yourself home unless you receive medication to help you relax during the procedure. Your doctor will review your MR images and use them to aid in the diagnostic process.