MR enterography is an effective tool to evaluate and guide treatment of patients with Crohn’s Disease (a common form of inflammatory bowel disease that typically affects young people) without exposing them to radiation, according to a study performed at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine/Brown University in Providence, RI.
“MR enterography is an MR examination targeted at the small bowel. The study included approximately 100 patients and 15 physicians,” said David Grand, MD, lead author of the study. “Nearly one-hundred percent of physicians who use MR enterography reported that they found information from the test useful for guiding patient management; patients overwhelmingly preferred MR to the CT,” he said. “This is an ongoing study,” he added.
“Crohn’s disease typically effects young people and will be a chronic disease throughout their life, requiring them to have multiple diagnostic imaging procedures. These young patients are too often exposed to multiple doses of ionizing radiation, the long-term effects which may be quite dangerous. Additionally, patients are often given very effective but potentially toxic “biologic” therapies to help reduce inflammation,” said Dr. Grand. “MR can also be used to see if these agents are working without exposure to radiation,” he said.
“MR enterography is beneficial to the patient because it provides the same information regarding the extent of small bowel disease as CT, but we believe is superior at judging whether disease is active or chronic–all without exposing the patient to radiation. Judging whether disease is active or chronic is critical to deciding on medical versus surgical treatment and we believe MR excels at making this distinction,” said Dr. Grand.
“There are many physicians who are using MR to diagnose and guide treatment of patients with Crohn’s disease. MR offers an immediate and lasting effect on the management of the disease without exposing patients to radiation,” he said.