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Magnetic resonance colonography without bowel cleansing: a prospective cross sectional study in a screening population
  1. Christiane A Kuehle1,
  2. Jost Langhorst2,
  3. Susanne C Ladd1,
  4. Thomas Zoepf2,
  5. Michael Nuefer1,
  6. Florian Grabellus3,
  7. Joerg Barkhausen1,
  8. Guido Gerken2,
  9. Thomas C Lauenstein1
  1. 1Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Hospital Essen, Germany
  2. 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Essen, Germany
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Hospital Essen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Christiane A Kühle
    Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstrasse 55, D-45122 Essen, Germany; christiane.kuehle{at}


Background and aim: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of magnetic resonance colonography (MRC) without bowel cleansing in a screening population and compare the results to colonoscopy as a standard of reference.

Methods: 315 screening patients, older than 50 years with a normal risk profile for colorectal cancer, were included in this study. For MRC, a tagging agent (5.0% Gastrografin, 1.0% barium sulphate, 0.2% locust bean gum) was ingested with each main meal within 2 days prior to MRC. No bowel cleansing was applied. For the magnetic resonance examination, a rectal water enema was administered. Data collection was based on contrast enhanced T1 weighted images and TrueFISP images. Magnetic resonance data were analysed for image quality and the presence of colorectal lesions. Conventional colonoscopy and histopathological samples served as reference.

Results: In 4% of all colonic segments, magnetic resonance image quality was insufficient because of untagged faecal material. Adenomatous polyps >5 mm were detected by means of MRC, with a sensitivity of 83.0%. Overall specificity was 90.2% (false positive findings in 19 patients). However, only 16 of 153 lesions <5 mm and 9 of 127 hyperplastic polyps could be visualised on magnetic resonance images.

Conclusions: Faecal tagging MRC is applicable for screening purposes. It provides good accuracy for the detection of relevant (ie, adenomatous) colorectal lesions >5 mm in a screening population. However, refinements to optimise image quality of faecal tagging are needed.

  • CRC, colorectal cancer
  • CTC, computed tomography colonoscopy
  • FOV, field of view
  • MRC, magnetic resonance colonography
  • TE, echo time
  • TR, repetition time

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  • Published Online First 5 March 2007

  • This study was supported by grant 70-3006 from the German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe).

  • Competing interests: None.

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