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Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE)

Magnetic resonance enterography is an imaging test that lets your doctor see detailed pictures of your small intestine. It can pinpoint inflammation, bleeding, and other problems. It is also called MR enterography.

The test uses a magnetic field to create detailed images of your organs.

Why has my doctor ordered MR enterography?

This test may help find:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Areas of irritation and swelling
  • Abscesses, which are pus filled pockets, in the intestinal walls
  • Small tears in the intestine wall
  • Blockages 

This test may also help track how well certain treatments are working.

MR enterography is often recommended for Crohn’s disease which tends to strike young people, who are at greater risk of problems from repeated diagnostic radiation exposure. MR enterography can help avoid radiation exposure because imaging your bowels with MRI does not involve any radiation exposure. (CT exams do involve radiation exposure).

How do I get ready for MR enterography?

It is very important to let your healthcare provider know if you have any implanted medical devices. If you do, you may not be able to have this test. For example, if you have an implanted defibrillator or pacemaker, a cochlear ear implant, etc., you may not be able to have an MRI.

  • Ask your doctor when to stop eating and drinking. You may be asked to avoid certain foods or drinks, such as carbonated beverages. You may also be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before the test. 
  • Also, let us know if you are allergic to glucagon, lactose, beef or pork products, if you have pheochromocytoma.  If you are allergic to any of the above, we will not be able to perform the exam due to the fact that we will be unable to administer the drug glucagon to temporarily stop bowel motility.

What happens during MR enterography?

  1. You will change into a gown for the test.
  2. You’ll be given an oral contrast material to drink before the test.
  3. Medical staff will help position and secure you on a table in the exam room. The more still you are, the better the images will be.
  4. A nurse will start an IV so that you can be given glucagon which will help reduce bowel motion and inject MRI contrast material in addition to the oral contrast.
  5. The MRI machine will scan your body before and after the contrast material is injected through your IV. You will be alone in the room, but you can talk to the people operating the machine. The machine may make some humming, bumping, or pinging noises as it scans you. This is normal.
  6. You will be asked to briefly hold your breath for short periods of time during the test. 
  7. You may need to stay in place while the images are reviewed. If necessary, additional images will be created.

To schedule an exam, please call 716.631.2500.

 

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