In an article first published online, in the publication International Journal of Colorectal Disease, scientists looked at MRI-based colonography as a tool for assessing diverticulosis or diverticulitis.
MRI-based colonography is a new minimally invasive imaging technique with which the colon and abdomen can be assessed. Although mainly applied for screening for polyps, the researchers hypothesized that is could also be an integrative approach for colonic diverticulitis assessment.
In order to test this theory, 14 consecutive patients with clinically suspected diverticulitis were examined by MRI colonography on a 1.5-T scanner. All patients underwent CT as gold standard.
N-Butyl-scopalamin was given intravenously to reduce bowel peristalsis and after rectal administration of a T1-positive enema T1- and T2-weighted acquisitions with additional intravenous contrast were obtained.
A 3D FLASH sequence was also acquired for virtual colonography.
Results were then compared with CT and biological parameters, including white blood cell count and C-reactive protein.
In total, 56 bowel segment (sigmoid colon, descending colon, transverse colon, and ascending colon) images were taken, from 14 patients. 54 of these were assessed to have good to fair image quality.
With CT as reference standard, all sigmoid diverticula were diagnosed based on MRI. Inflammation as judged by CT was also identically assessed on MRI.
3D models of the colon revealed further diverticula in the remaining colon and additionally, the 3D models gave a comprehensive image for surgical planning.
Lead author of the report, Dr Andreas G. Schreyer from the Department of Radiology at University Hospital Regensburg, in Regensburg, Germany, said that the preliminary study showed that MRI colonography revealed the same diagnosis as CT in all patients without ionizing radiation.
"Additionally, he continued, "3D-rendered models and virtual colonoscopy can be performed. These comprehensive 3D models could replace presurgical planning barium enema with concurrent assessment of the residual colon."