Enterography is a highly sensitive exam for diagnosing and monitoring inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease. The procedure uses either a CT or MRI scan to create detailed images of your small intestines. These images help to detect issues such as inflammation, tumors, bowel obstructions or abscesses, source of bleeding, and location or severity of a bowel disease. Accurately determining the type and extent of these disorders is essential for determining the best treatment options. Follow up studies may be performed to assess for response to treatment.
What You Need to Know
Your doctor may recommend a CT or MRI enterography exam to identify and locate:
- Source(s) of bleeding or vascular abnormalities
- Abscesses and fistulas
- Bowel obstructions
- The presence of Chrohn’s disease
Enterography is a non-invasive study that produces high resolution images to diagnose and monitor inflammatory bowel diseases. Before the exam, an oral and/or intravenous contrast material is typically administered to highlight the small intestine. A drug may also be administered to decrease movement of the bowel which can interfere with the images.
Your doctor will make the recommendation of whether the exam will be with MRI or CT, typically in consultation with the radiologist. For more information regarding the different recommendations and safety considerations for each exam, please visit our MRI service page and CT service page.
What to Expect
- We’ll contact you before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions and past imaging exams.
- If your exam requires contrast, we’ll discuss any special requirements with you.
- Be sure to tell use if you are pregnant, nursing or if there is a chance you are pregnant.
- On the day of the exam, please arrive 15 minutes early to check-in and bring prior imaging results with you if instructed.
- You will be asked to change into a gown or scrubs. You will be given a locker to store clothes and anything else you have with you.
- Our staff will guide you through the procedure.
- You may be given an injection of contrast agent (dye) to improve the quality of the images. The dye is injected into a vein in your arm and may cause a warm sensation.
- As pictures are taken, you’ll be asked to hold very still, and in some cases hold your breath up to 25 seconds.
- Once the scan is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room.
- There are usually no restrictions after the procedure. We will let you know any special instructions.
- Your images will be sent to a radiologist who will review the information and write a report for your doctor. This information is shared with your doctor within 24-48 hours of your exam.
- The doctor who referred you will be the one to follow-up with you about your results and any necessary next steps.