Magnetic Resonance Enterography for Crohn's Disease: What the Surgeon Can Take Home

Anna Pozza, Marco Scarpa, Carmelo Lacognata, Francesco Corbetti, Claudia Mescoli, Cesare Ruffolo, Mauro Frego, Renata D'Incà, Romeo Bardini, Massimo Rugge, Giacomo Carlo Sturniolo, Imerio Angriman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Crohn's disease (CD) is a life-long, chronic, relapsing condition requiring often morphological assessment. MR enterography (MRE) offers advantages of not using ionizing radiation and yielding intraluminal and intra-abdominal informations. The aim of our study was to identify how MRE can be useful in planning surgical procedures. Patients and Methods: In this retrospective study, 35 patients who underwent MRE and then surgery for CD were enrolled from 2006 to 2010. MRE findings were compared to intraoperative findings. Histology of operative specimens, systemic inflammatory parameters, and fecal lactoferrin were also evaluated. Cohen's κ agreement test, sensitivity and sensibility, uni-/multivariate logistic regression, and non-parametric statistics were performed. Results: MRE identified bowel stenosis with a sensitivity of 0. 95 (95% CI 0. 76-0. 99) and a specificity of 0. 72 (95% CI 0. 39-0. 92). The concordance of MRE findings with intraoperative findings was high [Cohen's κ = 0. 72 (0. 16)]. Abscesses were detected at MRE with a sensitivity of 0. 92 (95% CI 0. 62-0. 99) and a specificity of 0. 90 (95% CI 0. 69-0. 98) with a Cohen's κ = 0. 82 (0. 16). The grade of proximal bowel dilatation resulted to be a significant predictor of the possibility of using strictureplasty instead of/associated to bowel resection either at univariate or at multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Our study confirmed that MRE findings correlate significantly with disease activity. Detailed information about abscess could suggest percutaneous drainage that could ease the following surgery or avoid emergency laparotomy. Proximal bowel dilatation can suggest the possibility to perform bowel sparing surgery such as strictureplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1698
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Crohn's disease
  • Magnetic resonance enterography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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