What is MR Enterography?

MR enterography is a noninvasive diagnostic test used to produce detailed images of the small intestine and colon to evaluate certain gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease, infectious enteritis, intestinal tuberculosis and small bowel lymphoma. It can also be used in patients with occult gastrointestinal bleeding to determine if a small bowel polyp is the cause of the bleeding.

MR Enterography is an excellent non-invasive method utilized as an alternative to CT without the use of ionizing radiation. An MRI scan uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create detailed images of inside the body and can be repeated without any harmful effect.

How do I prepare?

Request an appointment online or call us to book your appointment. Once your appointment is booked, your forms will be available on the patient portal.

Notify our staff if you have any metal or medical/mechanical devices in your body. This exam may NOT be performed if you have a cardiac pacemaker, defibrillator, cerebral aneurysm clips or a metallic hearing implant. You must remove all jewelry and any other metallic objects such as hearing aids, jeans with metal zippers, body piercings and removable dental work. Wearing a sweat suit with no metal may prevent you from having to change into a gown.

A nurse will call you regarding the prep for your exam, which may involve a bowel prep. This test generally involves IV and oral contrast. Also, you may be given an intramuscular injection of a medication called glucagon to relax your bowel in the office.

You must arrive one hour and 45 minutes prior to your exam time to drink the oral contrast.

Additional prep for MRI with I.V. contrast

If you have impaired kidney function, are diabetic or are 60 years of age or older, we will perform an i-STAT creatinine level at the time of your exam to assess your kidney function. It is important to inform us if you are taking the medication hydroxyurea when making your appointment. Keep hydrated before and after your exam.

Bring with you to your appointment:

  • Prescription from your doctor.
  • Current insurance card.
  • Authorization number from your insurance carrier.
  • Any forms you completed at home.
  • Credit card or cash for your insurance co-pay.
  • Any relevant imaging studies that you have from another facility, including the reports. We like to compare the MRI with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.
  • Picture identification.
  • What do I do when I arrive?

    Present your prescription, insurance card and completed forms at the front desk. If any additional forms are required, they will be given to you at this time.

    Be sure to inform the receptionist and technologist if you:

  • Have allergies
  • Have any compromised kidney function or a history of kidney disease.
  • Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are breast feeding.
  • Are currently taking any medications.
  • Have any metal or implanted medical device in your body.
  • Have hearing aids
  • Have diabetes.
  • Have any relevant studies from another facility.
  • Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

    Before the procedure, you will be given a barium solution to drink at 15 to 20 minute intervals. This will help us evaluate your stomach and bowel.

    What happens during the test?

    After arriving, you will be given a lemon/lime carbonated contrast to drink at three 20-minute intervals before your exam. This will help us evaluate your stomach and bowel.

    A nurse or technologist will start an IV line in your arm or hand. A small amount more of the oral contrast will be given and you will then be asked to lie down on the scanning table so we can take a few images. You may then be given the intramuscular injection of glucagon.

    We will then continue to obtain more MR images. IV contrast will be administered during the scan.

    Once all of the images have been recorded, the scanning table will move out of the MRI machine and the technologist will return to remove your I.V. line and assist you off the table.

    Drink plenty of fluids the rest of the day to help flush out any remaining contrast.

    For MRI with I.V. sedation, click here.

    What happens after the test?

    One of our board certified radiologists interprets your images, compares them to any previous studies and dictates a report which is transcribed, proofread and signed. The report is then faxed and mailed to your referring doctor within one or two days. Your doctor will read the report and review the findings with you.

    All of your signed reports and images are available to your referring doctor on our physician's web portal, and available to you on the patient web portal.