Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two main forms of idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). CD is a transmural chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract in a discontinuous distribution. UC is a mucosal and submucosal chronic inflammatory disease that typically originates in the rectum and may extend proximally in a continuous manner. In treating patients with CD and UC, clinicians rely heavily on accurate diagnoses and disease staging. Magnetic resonance (MR) enterography used in conjunction with endoscopy and histopathologic analysis can help accurately diagnose and manage disease in the majority of patients. Endoscopy is more sensitive for detection of the early-manifesting mucosal abnormalities seen with IBD and enables histopathologic sampling. MR enterography yields more insightful information about the pathologic changes seen deep to the mucosal layer of the gastrointestinal tract wall and to those portions of the small bowel that are not accessible endoscopically. CD can be classified into active inflammatory, fistulizing and perforating, fibrostenotic, and reparative and regenerative phases of disease. Although CD has a progressive course, there is no stepwise progression between these disease phases, and various phases may exist at the same time. The endoscopic and MR enterographic features of UC can be broadly divided into two categories: acute phase and subacute-chronic phase. Understanding the endoscopic features of IBD and the pathologic processes that cause the MR enterographic findings of IBD can help improve the accuracy of disease characterization and thus optimize the medication and surgical therapies for these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging