MRI Enterography Is Useful for Crohn’s Disease Management

MRI Enterography Is Useful for Crohn’s Disease Management
In a previous column, I discussed the various imaging scans that medical professionals use to manage Crohn's disease. I mentioned one of these, magnetic resonance enterography (MRE), an imaging test using oral or intravenous contrast that helps specialists view the small intestine. Standard tests such as colonoscopies and endoscopies do not provide a view of the entire small intestine. So, those with Crohn's disease, specific to the small bowel, often have to undergo further testing, including MRE and capsule endoscopy.   Before an MRE, an oral contrast liquid must be consumed. I've taken VoLumen, a barium suspension, which helps to produce detailed images of the small bowel. An IV contrast is often used, and patients may receive an injection of glucagon to slow digestion. You will need to fast for six hours before your MRE appointment. As with most procedures, patients are advised to stop all foods and liquids at midnight on the day before the scan. If you need to take medication in the morning, you can usually have a few sips of water — ask your doctor for guidance on this. Your body weight will determine the volume of barium liquid you need. I have been told to consume four bottles, but previously I could only stomach three before I had to call it quits. My tip is to bring a straw with you and drink as much as you can with each sip. The straw seemed to help me avoid the "berry" barium flavor and drink it faster. The MRE can show inflammation, bleeding, and bowel wall thickening, as well as
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