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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to relaunch online smoking-cessation study

April 22, 2017

Crohn's disease, a form of imflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is a chronic, relapsing, auto-immune disorder that may affect any portion of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the terminal ileum. The incidence of IBD has increased 31 percent in the U.S. since 1991. Cross-sectional imaging is currently a mainstay of evaluation of patients with Crohn's disease due to its ability to assess the entire bowel and extra-luminal complications including fistula and abscess. Recently, however, MRE has demonstrated excellent efficacy both in detection of Crohn's disease as well as in differentiation of active from chronic small bowel changes.

While CTE has proven to be an effective tool in diagnosing Crohn's disease, the radiation dose the patient receives is up to five times higher than that of small-bowel follow through, the test it has largely replaced. In one population-based study, diagnostic imaging exams exposed the majority of Crohn's patients to an additional annual radiation does equal to the annual background radiation in the U.S., while a subset of patients received up to 11 times this additional dosage.

MRE can eliminate ionizing radiation exposure in the population of patients who often present while young and undergo multiple imaging exams throughout their lives.

Additionally, all published literature to date has used a pharmacologic anti-peristaltic agent to minimize motion artifacts. While the agents may improve subjective image quality, their use has not been shown to be diagnostically necessary and administration complicates exam protocol and increases expense. This study demonstrates that the anti-peristaltic agents may not be necessary, and suggests a simplified protocol of MRE which maintains diagnostic yield while decreasing complexity and expense.

Source: Lifespan