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Magnetic resonance enterography

The purpose of this leaflet is to provide you with information about magnetic resonance enterography (MR enterography), a special type of magnetic resonance imaging used to produce images of the small intestine. MR enterography is performed on referral by your doctor.

What is MR enterography?

MR enterography uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce an image of the small intestine that helps the doctor diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal obstruction, and abnormalities of the abdominal organs. MR enterography does not use ionising radiation (x-rays), which makes it a safe examination procedure. MR enterography lasts for two hours (one hour for preparation and one hour for the procedure itself).

Therefore, please arrive one hour prior to your scheduled appointment.

The main indications for MR enterography include:

  • Crohn's disease;
  • inflammatory bowel disease;
  • internal bleeding;
  • tumours;
  • intestinal obstruction.

Contraindications

If you are pregnant or if you suspect pregnancy, please inform your doctor and the radiologic technologist performing the procedure. Although foetal harm has not been proved, this imaging technique is only used in severe or life-threatening cases and the contrast agent is only injected for vital indications.

If you have metal implants or metallic foreign bodies in your body, please inform the radiologic technologist performing the procedure before entering the imaging room. In most cases, it is safe for you to have the examination with metal implants, except for some contraindications.

The following foreign objects inside or on your body may interfere with MR enterography and may pose a risk to you during the examination:

  • cardiac pacemaker (except for an MRI-resistant pacemaker programmed to a special mode with a special device for the time spent in the imaging room);
  • brain aneurysm clip;
  • neurostimulator;
  • joint prostheses, screws, fracture fixation plates;
  • prostheses;
  • artificial heart valve;
  • fragments of metal;
  • stents, clips;
  • braces, orthodontic wires.

Preparing for the examination procedure

Please arrive at the reception of the Centre of Radiology one hour prior to your scheduled appointment.

  • Do not eat for six hours prior to the examination procedure! You can drink some water and take the medications you need.
  • When coming for the examination procedure, dress comfortably and, if possible, leave jewellery, watches, dentures, glasses, etc. at home, as you will be asked to remove them.
  • You will be asked to drink 1.5 litres of a special solution (Fortrans and water solution) to achieve bowel distension and obtain high-quality images. You will be instructed to drink the solution steadily over a given period of time. It may cause diarrhoea.
  • You must leave all removable metal objects and personal belongings in the locker of the imaging room. You will be given disposable clothing suitable for the examination procedure, which you will be asked to change into.
  • If you have claustrophobia or a fear of confined spaces, talk to your doctor, who will prescribe a mild sedative if needed so that the procedure can be performed. If you are afraid, also inform the radiologic technologist performing the procedure.

During the examination procedure

  • During the examination procedure, you will lie still on your stomach on the examination table for about 45 minutes. You will be given an intravenous injection of a contrast agent and a medication that slows down the movement of the bowel (Buscopan). Therefore, a cannula will be inserted into the vein of your arm. The contrast agent used for the procedure contains gadolinium and is usually well tolerated. Allergic reactions are very rare.
  • Special coils will be placed on your back and the examination table will slide into the magnetic resonance imaging or MRI machine, which is a ventilated and lit tunnel open at both ends. During the examination procedure, the MRI machine will make loud banging and knocking noises. You will be given headphones and earplugs to muffle the noise. It is very important that the area to be examined does not move. Therefore, the radiology technician will repeatedly ask you to hold your breath.
  • You will be monitored through a window and camera during the examination procedure. If you feel discomfort, you can alert the radiologic technologist by pressing a signal button.

After the examination procedure

After the examination procedure, it is recommended that you drink more fluids than usual to help the contrast leave your body faster. You may get dressed and leave as soon as the examination procedure is finished. You will find out the result of the examination from your doctor.

The examinations are performed in the A-block of the hospital at Ravi 18 and in the X-block of the hospital at Pärnu mnt 104b. If the time of your examination is not suitable for you, please contact the reception of the Centre of Radiology on 620 7200 (Ravi 18) or 666 5130 (Pärnu mnt 104b, X-block).

Additional information

If you have any questions about the examination, please contact the helpline for radiological examinations. When calling the helpline, you will not be able to book an appointment or receive information about the results of the examination.

You can reach the helpline from 08:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday.

  • telephone: 666 5166
  • e-mail: radioloogiainfo [at] itk.ee ()

ITK959

Approved by the decision of the Care Quality Commission of East Tallinn Central Hospital on 14.10.2020 (protocol no. 10-20)