MRI is increasingly used in the assessment of small bowel CD. Unlike conventional radiology, MRI enables visualization of disease extension beyond the intestinal wall, i.e., abscesses and fistulas. However, some extra-intestinal findings are unexpected and without relation to CD. The ability to detect incidental findings presents a clinical dilemma. On one hand, modern imaging techniques may detect early extra-intestinal malignant disease or disease requiring clinical intervention, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, incidental findings may lead to further diagnostic work-up or surgery of benign lesions causing increased morbidity.
A research article to be published on January 7 , 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses incidental findings in MRI-enterography in patients with suspected or known CD. Only few studies have dealt with incidental findings in abdominal MRI. In the present study, MRI-enterography revealed incidental findings located outside the small intestine which were not related to CD in 25% of patients resulting in additional examinations in 5%. Additional investigations confirmed abnormal lesions in 1.8%, and one patient had a malignant disease. Two patients benefitted from the additional examinations (aortic aneurysm and prostate cancer) whereas incidental findings led to unnecessary examinations in 9 patients. Detection of extra-intestinal manifestations of CD was rare (1.8%). Hence, incidental findings are common in patients having MRI for evaluation of small bowel CD. Additional examinations reveal important disease in a minority of patients. However, a substantial number of patients experienced unnecessary morbidity because of the additional investigations of benign or normal conditions. The detection rate of important incidental lesions not related to CD is too low to be an argument in itself for performing MRI-enterography in this group of patients.
Reference: Jensen MD, Nathan T, Kjeldsen J, Rafaelsen SR. Incidental findings at MRI-enterography in patients with suspected or known Crohn's disease. World J Gastroenterol 2010; 16(1): 76-82 http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/16/76.asp
Correspondence to: Michael Dam Jensen, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, Vejle Hospital part of Lillebaelt Hospital, Kabbeltoft 25, DK-7100 Vejle, Denmark. firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: +45-79-406341 Fax: +45-79-406887
About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2008 IF: 2.081. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
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