MR Enterography

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1653
   Posted 4/13/2010 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I'll be having my first MR Enterography in the next couple of weeks.

I've had a CT Enterography before, but not an MR E.

Has anyone on here had an MR E? I'm just curious about the protocol, as it seems to vary somewhat from one radiology center to another. Did you have to do a bowel prep? How much contrast did you drink? Did you also get IV contrast? How long did the MRI take?

I'm just curious about other people's experiences with this.

Thanks in advance for any stories.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 414
   Posted 4/13/2010 3:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I'd never heard of getting an MRI on the bowel but found this theres a bit of info there.
I've have had MRI scans done before on my hips - be warned MRIs take a loooong time and you literally can't move as it messes up the pictures. I would have thought as the bowels are moving all the time it would mess it up but according to the info in that link they stop them from moving.
Maybe someone else here will have had it done and be able to offer their experience.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 4/13/2010 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm actually getting one tonight! They have you not eat/drink for 6 hours, then you have to drink a contrast (evidently it's a lot better than barium), then they take some pictures, and then they come in and inject you with this stuff that pretty much paralyzes your small intestine for a short period of time, then they take some more pictures. It doesn't sound too bad.
I'll let you know how mine goes.
18 year old female
Crohn's dx in May 2009, symptoms since October 2008
Currently taking: Entocort 6mg
Off nearly all meds so the doctor can re-evaluate my diagnosis. Ugh.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1653
   Posted 4/13/2010 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   
imissicecream, good luck!

lilcrohnieUK, thanks for the link. Sounds like I'll be drinking less contrast than I did for the CT version, which is good, but that the scanning itself takes quite a bit longer to do. Oh well, not a bad tradeoff. I've had a few MRIs before (two for my back and one MRCP for my pancreas), so I know that feeling of being stuck in the tube for a long time.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 4/14/2010 5:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I had small bowel MRI last week. Could not eat or drink for 8 hours before and an hour before scan had to drink 1 litre of water like fluid. A lot of liquid to take on in a short amount of time but I did ok. Then the familiar smomach cramps started and a suddent dash to the loo (several times). It had the same effect on me as a bowel prep for a camera. They managed to get the needle in my arm for the dye and I had to rush off again. Got me in the scanner face down and I had 20 minutes of praying I could hold on. Fortunately I think the fact I was lying down helped (gravity didn't come into play) and I got through it. Journey home a bit scarey but made it and was in and out of the loo for another couple of hours. I was told at the hospital that people didn't normally react that way -lucky me. Results tomorrow - watch this space. Hope everyones goes well and you don't have the explosive effect that I did !

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 145
   Posted 4/14/2010 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Yup, the advantage is better picts and there is no exposure to radiation that you get in your regular scan. The procedure is same as many have explained it below, but the only thing is that stuff you have to drink is brutal, they ask you drink 4 cans of contrast, and I probably only did 3 or little over 3 because I said if you want more, everything will come out. So they pushed me through it, the procedure is long and you have to be still (a difficult thing for me).

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 4/13/2016 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
@missnuts- I had the same reaction to the fluid I had to drink. The drive home was pretty tense and I had multiple runs to the bathroom before leaving the hospital. I too was told people don't usually have issues with it.

I had mine done yesterday.
In a Flare--- Apriso 1.5 gram twice a day, canasa 1 gram twice a day, lexapro 20 mg, probiotic, and a few vitamins. Currently on a prednisone taper.
Mild proctitis

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 586
   Posted 4/16/2016 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
You have gotten some good info about MREs and I have had TONS. They are definitely my doctor's go-to whenever I am flaring because they don't use radiation. A few tricks I have acquired:
1. If you are a woman on the thinner side, you really don't need to drink as many of those contrast drinks as they say. I have taken to refusing after the second and it has never ruined the scan (I am 5'6" and weigh 120-125 lb). Furthermore, I have found that drinking less really makes the scan more bearable because I don't feel like I have to pee 10 minutes into it. Also, you don't feel as crappy afterwards.
2. You can request a mild sedative, like a Xanax or Ativan, from you GI (he will have to prescribe it and you pick it up from the pharmacy before going for the scan) and take it 30 minutes before the scan. This was AMAZING for me the last scan I had. I don't get anxiety with the scans, but find it very hard to lie still for that long. It's almost like my limbs start moving involuntarily and it drives me crazy. The last time, when I took a xanax prior, I almost fell asleep a few times. Only down-side is that you need to make sure you have a ride home.
3. Get a ride if you can even if you don't take a sedative. That contrast makes you feel awful after and driving myself home was always horrible feeling like that. Especially having to pull over to throw up (this only happened once) or stop several times to use a bathroom.
4. Even if you don't feel well, try to eat and drink as much as possible after the scan in order to flush everything out of you. Drink tons of water for the rest of the day.

Hope this helps!
32 year old female with a husband and son.
Diagnosed with CD in January of 2005.
Resection 9/11/13
Back on Humira.
Past Meds: 6MP, Humira, Remicade, & Cimzia.
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