This imaging study is a newer alternative to traditional barium fluoroscopy exams to evaluate the small bowel while using a multi-detector CT scanner. The most common indications include assessment for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease), gastrointestinal bleeding, and small bowel tumors. This technique is also very helpful in differentiating between new (active) and old (fibrotic) strictures in patients with Crohn disease. Differentiating active versus fibrotic has important implications of whether a patient receives medical management or surgery.
If you would like additional information, we recommend visiting the CT Enterography section of RadiologyInfo.org
The exam will be performed on one of our multi-detector CT scanners following a few special steps to prepare the small bowel. You will be asked to have nothing by mouth (NPO) for at least 4 hours prior to the exam. This ensures that any ingested food material is not confused for an abnormality. You will also need to arrive at our imaging center about one hour prior to the examination time in order to drink a special oral contrast agent to distend the small bowel. Once these steps are complete, you will be placed on the CT scanner and images will be obtained rapidly following the injection of contrast material.