Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess a new strategy of MR colonography for the detection of colonic polyps/malignancy. The technique is based on a rectal enema with water in combination with the intravenous application of a paramagnetic contrast agent.
Methods: Twelve subjects were included in this study either due to suspected colorectal tumors or for screening purposes. For MR colonography the colon was filled with approximately 3000 ml of tap water while Gadobenate dimeglumine (0.2 mmol/kg) was injected intravenously. A T1w GRE sequence was acquired before and 75 sec after the contrast administration only in prone position. Three patient underwent the "bright lumen" MRC as well. All MR examinations were performed at least five days prior to conventional colonoscopy and the results of both modalities were compared.
Results: The colonic filling with water resulted in a homogeneously low signal throughout the colonic lumen in all twelve subjects. Intravenous injection of gadolinium caused avid enhancement of the colonic wall. Similarly lesions arising from the colonic wall enhanced avidly. Dark lumen MR colonography correctly identified five polyps in four patients. Bright lumen MRC showed in one patient false positive results.
Conclusion: The new MR colonography concept based on a dark colonic lumen and a bright, contrast enhanced colonic wall turned out to be a promising alternative to the traditional MRC based on a bright lumen concept. The new technique suggests a higher accuracy in detecting polyps, a better evaluation of other parenchymal organs as well as a reduced time needed for data acquisition and analysis.