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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 786802, 9 pages
Review Article

MRI for Crohn’s Disease: Present and Future

1Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705, Republic of Korea
2Biomedical Research Institute, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul 156-756, Republic of Korea
3National Primate Research Center (NPRC), Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), Ochang 363-883, Republic of Korea

Received 18 August 2014; Revised 9 October 2014; Accepted 11 December 2014

Academic Editor: Takeshi Yokoo

Copyright © 2015 Kichul Yoon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory condition with relapsing-remitting behavior, often causing strictures or penetrating bowel damage. Its lifelong clinical course necessitates frequent assessment of disease activity and complications. Computed tomography (CT) enterography has been used as primary imaging modality; however, the concern for radiation hazard limits its use especially in younger population. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has advantages of avoiding radiation exposure, lower incidence of adverse events, ability to obtain dynamic information, and good soft-tissue resolution. MR enterography (MRE) with oral contrast agent has been used as primary MR imaging modality of CD with high sensitivity, specificity, and interobserver agreement. The extent of inflammation as well as transmural ulcers and fibrostenotic diseases can be detected with MRE. Novel MR techniques such as diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI), motility study, PET-MRI, and molecular imaging are currently investigated for further improvement of diagnosis and management of CD. MR spectroscopy is a remarkable molecular imaging tool to analyze metabolic profile of CD with human samples such as plasma, urine, or feces, as well as colonic mucosa itself.