Did your physician prescribe getting an MR Enterography (MRE) done? Not sure what it is?
This article explains everything you should know before getting an MRE diagnosis done. So, let’s get started.
What is MR Enterography?
MR Enterography, or Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE), is a specialized imaging test that uses a magnetic field to generate clear, detailed, and cross-sectional images of your small intestine. The images are analyzed through advanced computer systems to diagnose obstructions, bleeding, inflammation, or other problems in the small intestine.
The procedure is non-invasive and does not involve using ionizing radiation. Therefore, it is safe and the images you get are more detailed. Typically, it takes around 45 minutes to complete the imaging process.
Why You Might Need MR Enterography?
When your physician recommends getting MR Enterography services in Boise, ID, you might think about what it is for. Essentially, an MRE imaging test helps diagnose and evaluate a variety of health conditions and diseases such as:
- Vascular abnormalities and internal bleeding
- Abscesses in the intestinal walls, causing pus-filled pockets
- Inflammation, pain, and irritation
- Bowel blockages
- The presence, complications, and severity of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Crohn’s Disease
How is the MRE Procedure Performed?
This form of MRI examination can be performed on outpatients and does not require hospitalization.
Before the procedure begins, you need to drink a few glasses of a water solution that is a mixture of water and a contrast material. You have to lie down on the exam table and devices (coils) that send and receive radio waves will be placed on and around the area of the body being scanned. The coils help improve image quality significantly.
A technologist or doctor will insert an IV line (intravenous catheter) into the vein in your hand or arm and inject the contrast material. It may cause a cooling sensation in your body. Inside the MRI unit’s magnet, you might experience little vibration or intermittent sounds like clicking, thumping, or humming. When the images are taken, you must hold your body still. You might also be asked to hold your breath at times.
What are the Benefits & Risks?
- It is a non-invasive diagnosis technique and is safe because the procedure does not expose you to radiation
- Renders improved imaging results where other methods fail due to bone obstructions
- Unlike iodine-based contrast used in CT scan and X-rays, MRE uses gadolinium contrast that is less likely to be allergic
- Can help identify bowel inflammation in Crohn’s disease or IBD
- It may eliminate the need to perform Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE)
- MRE poses no risk when adequate safety guidelines are maintained
- The magnetic field is not harmful to patients but can cause the images to get distorted if the strength is too high
- There is a rare risk of an allergic reaction from gadolinium contrast
Preparing for MR Enterography
Consult your physician to know how you should prepare for the MRE exam. Typically, you need to be on a clear liquid diet 12 hours before the test. Make sure you do not consume any form of caffeine prior to the exam. If you already have any health conditions, discuss them with your physician. Always arrive one and a half hours before the exam.