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Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE)


What is Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE)?

Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE) is an advanced, accurate and noninvasive diagnostic imaging test to assess and evaluate certain gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, infectious enteritis, small bowel lymphoma and intestinal tuberculosis. It can also be used in patients with occult gastrointestinal bleeding to determine if a small bowel polyp is the cause of your bleeding.

Further, since MRE does not use radiation, it can be especially useful in patients who are younger or who may need to undergo numerous future studies.

How do you prepare for your MRE? 

  • Do not eat or drink anything except water at least 8 hours prior to your procedure, and preferably beginning at 12 pm (midnight) the night before your procedure.
  • Do not wear metal or jewelry.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any implants, for example:
          - Pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator
          - Brain aneurysm clip
          - Cardiac stent
          - Stimulators
          - Metal in any part of your body
  • Notify us in advance if you have renal (kidney) disease.
  • If you are, or think you may be pregnant, tell your physician.
  • Please arrive one hour and 15 minutes before your appointment so that you have time to drink a special barium solution that helps us better see the bowel.
  • If you must cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call us at least 24 hours before your appointment.

 What should you bring to your procedure?  

  • Prescription or referral from your physician
  • List of medications you take
  • Insurance cards
  • Any previous, relevant imaging exams and reports, including MRI, CT, Small Bowel Series, PET/CT, taken outside of

our network

  • Medical history
  • Pathology reports

What will you experience during your MRE? 

Upon Arrival

  • Because the MRI uses a powerful magnet, we will ask you to complete a safety questionnaire to learn if you have implants or other sources of metal in your body.
  • Before your exam, we will

give you a special barium solution to drink at 15 to 20 minute intervals to help us better evaluate your stomach and bowel.

  • We will ask you to remove any metal, including jewelry, eye glasses, hearing aids, dental work, hair clips and hair pieces, before your scan.
  • Our MR technologists or the radiologist will ask you some medical questions and review what you can expect during the MRE.

During your scan

  • We will start an intravenous line (IV) in an arm vein and inject contrast material (dye) through it, to help use better see blood vessels and soft tissues during the MRE procedure.
  • We will make you as comfortable as possible on the exam table before the scan begins. Because the scanner can be noisy, we will provide ear protection.
  • The table will slide into the MRI unit.  Please try to lie as still as possible to avoid blurring the images. This is very important in assisting the radiologist in his or her interpretation.
  • You will be able to communicate with the MR technologist at all times during your exam. She or he will closely supervise you and check in with you periodically during your scan.
  • Most MRE exams last less than 45 minutes.

      After your MRE

  • We will remove the IV.  You may leave after your MRE is completed and continue with your daily routine.
  • Drink plenty of fluids the rest of the day to help flush out any remaining contrast.
  • The radiologist will review your scans and send the written report to your physician.
  • Urgent findings will be called or faxed to your physician.