MRI with or without barium

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sammies
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Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 5/21/2008 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Just called the hospital. While I have to go for a closed MRI, the woman said I won't have barium. I'll have a litre of water. Nothing to eat four hours prior. They're looking at my colon.

I don't want to get there and then get surprised by another two litres of barium.

what have folks experienced? Barium or no barium?

(You know I'm praying she's right)
23 years with moderate Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; pentasa


xraygrrl
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Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 5/21/2008 5:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm an MRI tech. You'll be relieved to know that there is no barium for MRI. If they do make you drink anything, it would be a small amount of a liquid that doesn't taste bad. It's used so rarely, I can't remember the name of it! Just make sure to hold still, let your tech know before you start if you need a blanket, need to use the restroom, etc. because getting up or stopping in the middle will make your scan longer. Good luck!!

sammies
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Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 5/21/2008 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
xraygirl--WOW thank you! I was reading how some folks said they threw up the barium with an MRI and was getting freaked out. They tech today said I might have to drink a litre of water??? Does that make sense?
23 years with moderate Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; pentasa


xraygrrl
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Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 5/22/2008 3:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I've never made anyone drink water except when I couldn't find a vein for an injection & had to send them home. Do you know what kind of scan you're having?

CrohnieToo
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Date Joined May 2003
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   Posted 5/22/2008 6:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I have read where they are using water sometimes for "contrast" during imaging (along w/another "contrast dye" via the IV.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


xraygrrl
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Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 5/22/2008 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Every place is different, too. For the most part, scans are done based on the radiologists preference. Water does show up well on an MRI.

munchkin81
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 5/22/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I had an MRI with barium. They were looking for narrowing. I don't know if that matters. I had to drink a lot of it. 3 bottles of stuff. I did end up throwing it up because it just wouldn't go down anymore. I'm sorry to tell you this, but I want you to be prepared just in case. I had no idea.
Munchkin 81
27 year old female.  DX June 2007.
abscess Nov. 2006 - drain and surgery
Resection 11/07
Resection 4/08
 


sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 5/22/2008 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   
xraygirl--They are looking for "2 holes" on my right colon. Doc thought he saw fistula openings with colonoscopy, radiology team thought they were ulcers with hyrdo-enema (can't seem to find the name of this).

munchkin--thanks for the warning. Were they looking at your whole system?

there is no way I'm going to be able to go into a closed tube after drinking barium--valium or not. I'm a strong gal but not that strong. I hope xraygirl is right.
23 years with moderate Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; pentasa


munchkin81
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 5/22/2008 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure. I know they did two different areas, but they already knew what they were looking for. It was at the anastamosis from a recent ileocecectomy. I'd had a CT done and my other hospital wanted to confirm it but didn't want to give me more radiation.
Munchkin 81
27 year old female.  DX June 2007.
abscess Nov. 2006 - drain and surgery
Resection 11/07
Resection 4/08
 


Illy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 5/22/2008 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I have never heard of barium with  an MRI.  It would either be barium with CT scan or fluoroscopy, or MRI with or without contrast.

munchkin81
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 5/22/2008 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
My sister is an MRI tech and she had never heard of it either, but trust me, it was barium. I spent a lot of time staring at the bottle.
Munchkin 81
27 year old female.  DX June 2007.
abscess Nov. 2006 - drain and surgery
Resection 11/07
Resection 4/08
 


CrohnieToo
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Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 5/22/2008 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I know Mayo Clinic, Rochester, has been doing some research on MRI Enterography vs CT Enterography but so far, the CTE is far superior except for the rectal area. The hope has been that the MR Enterography would be as good or better due to the radiation doses of the CT scans.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


CheerDad
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 5/22/2008 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
My GI finds that MRIs are not as reliable as CTs. With that said, I have never had barium with the MRI only the IV contrast.
We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.

 
Randy

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Dx'd with Crohn's at age 12. Symptoms since age 5.

Learning to live with this Disease rather than be its victim after 36 years.


sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 5/23/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
So it seems that the MRI Enterography is the one where you drink lots--it's for small bowel. Sounds like this is what you had Munchkin.

I'm going for an abdomen scan--does that sound right xraygirl? As far as I know, they are only looking at my colon, so I'm hoping on the water and injected contrast.

THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!!!!
23 years with moderate Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; pentasa


wednesday77
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 390
   Posted 5/25/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   

I have had to drink that when I had my MRI - they told me for all abdominal screening you have to drink the liquid.  It is gross, best advise is close your eyes, hold your nose and chug it.  Drink it through a straw as far back as comfortable in your mouth and try not to think about it.

They also did a dye contrast during the MRI.  I had a CT scan as well 2 weeks prior.  During both they didn't find anything.  The abcess that was getting bigger was going undetected.  So I ended up in the hospital anyway.  A dr told me while I was there "No more MRIs, no more CT scans".  The 2nd time I was in the hospital (a week later) the first thing they said was "Nothing to drink right now since we might have you do a CT scan".  That is when I put my foot down to the throngs of tests they were doing and said no.  No, no more MRIs and no more CT scans.  Know was they said?

"Ok."

I think often they prescribe these tests (in my case anyway) to put off actually looking at what is the problem.  I have had test upon test that has showed nothing and am very frustrated since I am not any closer to a solution to this flare or the disease in general.

Hope yours went well!  MRIs are best closing your eyes before you go into the tunnel and keeping them closed until the entiree procedure is done.  If they offer headphones and music, TAKE IT, and listen to something relaxing and calgon-take-me-away-ish like Enya.

 


32 yr old Female
Crohn's Colitis
DX 12/06
 
Currently on Remicade, Oxycodone, Protonix, trying to remember to take Multivitamin and Calcium, need to start taking Probiotics and Omega 3-6-9
 
Presently healing from a flare and 2 week hospital stay, during which abcess was drained by surgeon


sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 6/3/2008 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
So. . . I did the MR Enterography yesterday. They lied---staff had told me there would be 3 bottles of water. Nope. Munchkin 81 was right--it's not exactly thick barium but it's barium alright. I drank 1 1/2 cups--for goodness sake I'm 5 foot 2 inches and 107 ibs. They said that was fine. Had a hard time getting an IV in me. Had the shot that slows down your intestines too. So I was really sick last night and exhausted today but glad it's over. I did get xanax which helped me both stress less about the drink and the tube. Hoping and praying on good results. They were looking for fistulas. Hoping to avoid that knife.

Anyone else been doing the enterography? They say it's fairly new here but big in Europe.
23 years with moderate Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; pentasa


Riss
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 6/3/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I just had an MRI enterography 2 weeks ago...it wasn't so bad - but I also have nothing to compare it to since it was my first time having anything like that done.  I had to drink 1 container of some barium drink.  It didn't taste too bad (was apple flavor) but the look and texture of it kind of creeped me out!  I didn't enjoy the IV's - I believe there was a contrast one that I could taste while it was being administered and then I got some IV that made me feel warm all over for a couple seconds.  It lasted about 45 minutes, I had to do a lot of breathing in - holding my breath - letting out.  I made an MRI mix CD and got to listen to that during the whole process :)  My doctor said he favors the MRI over the CT enterography due to radiation issues.  He was able to see what he needed to see - so I guess it's a reliable test.
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