MRI of the small bowel: Can sufficient bowel distension be achieved with small volumes of oral contrast?

Sonja Kinner*, Christiane A. Kuehle, Sebastian Herbig, Sebastian Haag, Susanne C. Ladd, Joerg Barkhausen, Thomas C. Lauenstein

*Corresponding author for this work
15 Citations (Scopus)


Sufficient luminal distension is mandatory for small bowel imaging. However, patients often are unable to ingest volumes of currently applied oral contrast compounds. The aim of this study was to evaluate if administration of low doses of an oral contrast agent with high-osmolarity leads to sufficient and diagnostic bowel distension. Six healthy volunteers ingested at different occasions 150, 300 and 450 ml of a commercially available oral contrast agent (Banana Smoothie Readi-Cat, E-Z-EM; 194 mOsmol/l). Two-dimensional TrueFISP data sets were acquired in 5-min intervals up to 45 min after contrast ingestion. Small bowel distension was quantified using a visual five-grade ranking (5 = very good distension, 1 = collapsed bowel). Results were statistically compared using a Wilcoxon-Rank test. Ingestion of 450 ml and 300 ml resulted in a significantly better distension than 150 ml. The all-over average distension value for 450 ml amounted to 3.4 (300 ml: 3.0, 150 ml: 2.3) and diagnostic bowel distension could be found throughout the small intestine. Even 45 min after ingestion of 450 ml the jejunum and ileum could be reliably analyzed. Small bowel imaging with low doses of contrast leads to diagnostic distension values in healthy subjects when a high-osmolarity substance is applied. These findings may help to further refine small bowel MRI techniques, but need to be confirmed in patients with small bowel disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2542-2548
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 26.05.2008


Dive into the research topics of 'MRI of the small bowel: Can sufficient bowel distension be achieved with small volumes of oral contrast?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this