Imaging of malignant neoplasms of the mesenteric small bowel: New trends and perspectives

Philippe Soyer, Mourad Boudiaf, Elliot K. Fishman, Christine Hoeffel, Xavier Dray, Riccardo Manfredi, Philippe Marteau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This article describes the recent advances in radiological imaging of malignant neoplasms of the mesenteric small bowel and provides an outline of new trends and perspectives that can be anticipated. The introduction of multidetector row technology, which allows the acquisition of submillimeter and isotropic voxels, has dramatically improved the capabilities of computed tomography in the investigation of the mesenteric small bowel. This technology combined with optimal filling of small bowel loops through the use of appropriate enteral contrast agents has markedly changed small bowel imaging. Computed tomography-enteroclysis, which is based on direct infusion of enteral contrast agent into the mesenteric small bowel through a naso-jejunal tube, provides optimal luminal distension. By contrast, computed tomography-enterography is based on oral administration of enteral contrast agent. These two techniques are now well-established ones for the detection and the characterization of small bowel neoplasms. During the same time, combining the advantages of unsurpassed soft tissue contrast and lack of ionizing radiation, magnetic resonance imaging has gained wide acceptance for the evaluation of patients with suspected small bowel neoplasms. Rapid magnetic resonance imaging sequences used in combination with specific enteral contrast agents generate superb images of the mesenteric small bowel so that magnetic resonance-enteroclysis and magnetic resonance-enterography are now considered as effective diagnostic tools for both the detection and the characterization of neoplasms of the mesenteric small bowel. Recent improvements in image post-processing capabilities help obtain realistic three-dimensional representations of tumors and virtual enteroscopic views of the small bowel that are useful for the surgeon and the gastroenteroenteologist to plan surgical or endoscopic interventions. Along with a better knowledge of the potential and limitations of wireless capsule endoscopy and new endoscopic techniques, these recent developments in radiological imaging reasonably suggest that substantial changes in the investigation of small bowel tumors may be anticipated in a near future, thus potentially create a new paradigm shift after standard small bowel follow-through study has been universally abandoned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-30
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Abdomen
  • CT-enteroclysis
  • CT-enterography
  • Computed tomography
  • Gastrointestinal
  • MR-enteroclysis
  • MR-enterography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Small bowel
  • Small bowel neoplasms
  • Small bowel tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging of malignant neoplasms of the mesenteric small bowel: New trends and perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this