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ISRN Pathology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 419542, 13 pages
Review Article

Small Bowel Imaging: Clinical Applications of the Different Imaging Modalities—A Comprehensive Review

Radiology Department, First Faculty of Medicine, Università di Roma Sapienza, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome, Italy

Received 14 January 2013; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editors: F. Shimamoto and A. Wincewicz

Copyright © 2013 Gabriele Masselli. 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.


In the last years, MR and CT techniques have been optimized for small bowel imaging and are playing an increasing role in the evaluation of small bowel disorders. In comparison to traditional barium fluoroscopic examinations, spatial and temporal resolution is now much more improved partially thanks to modern bowel distending agents. However, there is a global interest in implementing techniques that either reduce or eliminate radiation exposure. This is especially important in patients with chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease who may require multiple studies over a lifetime. Owing to the excellent soft tissue contrast, direct multiplanar imaging capabilities, new ultrafast breath-holding pulse sequences, lack of ionizing radiation, and availability of a variety of oral contrast agents, MR is well suited to play a critical role in the imaging of small bowel disorders.