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Abdominal surgery under general anaesthesia causes postoperative ileus1 with an extended recovery time.2 Prolonged ileus creates major healthcare problems costing an estimated US$ 750 million per annum (£382 million, €563 million) in the US.3 Small-bowel motility is currently assessed by manometry, small-bowel transit time of radio-opaque markers and scintigraphy.4 All these methods are invasive (tube, radio-opaque markers or radio-labelled meal), unpopular with patients and restricted in their application to a few academic centres. Ultrafast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows dynamic analysis of moving structures under physiological conditions, as reported for other organs.5,6
In this prospective clinical study, 30 patients were examined 3–5 days after colorectal surgery (sigmoidectomy (n = 20), diverticulitis or carcinoma; rectal resection (n = 8), carcinoma). Surgeries were performed under general anaesthesia combined with peridural block analgesia. For MRI (1.5 T), no oral preparation was administered …
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