Although Crohn's disease (CD) can affect the entire alimentary tract, the proportion of patients with small-bowel inflammation proximal to the terminal ileum is still unclear.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combined with small-bowel enteroclysis can detect inflammatory lesions of the small bowel.
Researchers in Munich, Germany applied MR-enteroclysis in order to assess the percentage of patients with small-bowel inflammation proximal to the terminal ileum among patients with CD and abdominal pain.
The research group examined 25 consecutive patients with low, active CD of the colon and/or terminal ileum and episodes of abdominal pain using both MR-enteroclysis and conventional enteroclysis.
|13 of the 25 patients - inflammation of the small bowel shown by MR-enteroclysis|
4 of the 25 - inflammation shown by conventional enteroclysis
|Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology|
The group then compared the findings of MR-enteroclysis with endoscopic and histological results in the terminal ileum and conventional enteroclysis in the small bowel proximal to the terminal ileum.
The researchers found that 13 of the 25 patients had inflammation of the small bowel proximal to the terminal ileum that was shown by MR-enteroclysis.
However, only 4 of the 25 patients, had signs of inflammation of the small bowel proximal to the terminal ileum that were shown by conventional enteroclysis, all of which were demonstrated by MR-enteroclysis.
MR-enteroclysis confirmed the findings in 22 of 25 patients in whom endoscopy and histology had shown inflammation (16 of 18) or no inflammation (6 of 7) of the terminal ileum.
Dr Ochsenkuhn concluded, "In symptomatic patients with CD even of low activity, inflammation of the small bowel proximal to the terminal ileum is frequent."