This examination is similar to the CT Enterography, but it is performed on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. The advantage of MRI is the lack of ionizing radiation (no x-rays) and the ability to visualize small bowel motility. The lack of ionizing radiation is particularly important for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease) who will need many imaging studies over their lifetime.
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The exam will be performed on one of our state-of-the-art MRI 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 complete, you will be placed on the MRI scanner and images will be obtained prior to and following the injection of contrast material. Total imaging time will range from approximately 20 to 30 minutes.