MR Enterography


What is it?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets and radio waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the body. MRI does not use radiation and is noninvasive. In magnetic resonance enterography (MRE), MRI is combined with contrast material (dye) to create images of the small intestine to detect the cause of bleeding or other abnormalities.

What is for?

  • To detect the cause of bleeding or other abnormalities of the small intestine
  • To locate obstructions or blockages in the small bowel
  • To locate areas of inflammation or swelling
  • To find tears or abscesses in the intestine walls

How to prepare

  • Discuss your medical history and medications you are taking with your health care provider
  • Make sure to tell your health care provider if you have any implanted medical devices such as a defibrillator, pacemaker, cochlear ear implant, brain aneurysm clip or metal coil in your blood vessels. Some implanted medical devices may disqualify you from having the procedure.
  • You will be given instructions about what to eat and drink prior to the procedure


  • An allergic reaction may occur from the use of a contrast material (dye)
  • The strong magnetic fields can cause pacemakers and other implants to malfunction
  • Metal inside your body may be moved or shifted slightly because of the magnetic fields
  • An MRI may not recommended if you are pregnant, as it can cause a harmful increase in the temperature of the amniotic fluid
  • May cause kidney damage

What happens during?

  • You may be given a sedative to help relax
  • You’ll be given water and an oral contrast material to drink. Contrast materials assist in seeing the scanned body part more clearly. The procedure will start about 45 minutes after you drink the water and contrast material.
  • You may be given an I.V. to inject fluids and contrast materials in the form of a dye. Contrast materials assist in seeing the scanned body part more clearly.
  • You will be positioned on a table that will be moved into the MR scanner
  • You will be alone in the room where the procedure takes place but you will be in full communication with health care providers administering the scan
  • It’s important to stay as still as possible during the scan. The more still you are, the clearer the pictures will be.

What happens after?

  • You may need a ride home if you are discharged on the day of your procedure, especially if you were given a sedative

Side effects

  • You may experience cramping, diarrhea or nausea from the ingested contrast material. Contact your doctor if your discomfort does not subside.

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