MR Enterography Procedure: Things to Know Ahead of Time
An MR enterography is a special procedure that uses MRI scanning technology to produce detailed images of the small bowel. Often known as magnetic resonance enterography or MRE, the procedure is highly advanced and accurate. This non-invasive diagnostic test is extensively used for evaluating a wide range of problems, including Crohn’s Disease.
Just like a normal MRI scan, MR enterography is absolutely painless. There are no risks involved, unless the patient has some metal inside or on their body and is pregnant.
Before the Scan
The most important thing to remember is that you must not eat or drink anything at least 4 hours before the scan. In case you are on some medications, you can take a maximum of 8 ounces of water along with the medicine.
The staff at the diagnostic center will give you an oral contrast known as VoLumen about 2.5 hours before the test. You need to consume this contrast in 30-minute intervals. Generally, adults are given 4 bottles of oral contrast whereas a child will need to drink an amount that is suitable for their weight.
Once you complete the oral dosing, you will be administered some more contrast via IV. This is a new type of contrast that is given as the actual exam starts. It enables the radiologist to identify and view the vessels in your abdomen that are connected to the intestines.
You might feel a little cool and experience a metallic taste in the mouth as the contrast is injected in your body.
For the scan, you will lie down on the examination table. The radiology staff will put a pillow under your head and a cushion under the knees. They will also give you a headphone that will block the noise from the scanner. Besides, using these headphones, the staff members can talk to you even when the MR enterography is in process.
Time for the Scan
As the test begins, the radiologist will take a few pictures of the body. After they confirm that there is enough contrast in the body, a staff member will give you a final injection in the arm. This injection includes Glucagon. During the process, your intestines are constantly moving and pushing the waste through. This injection will slow down their action momentarily so that clear images can be captured during the process.
Initially, Glucagon may make you feel sick or nauseated. But the feeling will go away in a few minutes.
After this, the radiologist will take the pictures. The process generally takes 45 minutes to one hour.
Ending the Scan
After all necessary pictures have been taken, a staff member will remove the IV. It is normal to feel slightly nauseated for a couple of hours after the exam. In case the symptoms persist for longer, you must talk to your physician.
Once the reports are ready, you can check with your doctor to find out the test outcomes.