Non-invasive distension of the small bowel for magnetic-resonance imaging

Lancet. 2001 Sep 22;358(9286):987-8. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(01)06127-x.


Magnetic resonance enteroclysis is a promising technique that allows assessment of the small bowel but needs invasive nasoduodenal intubation. We propose a non-invasive distension method for magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) in which ispaghula, dissolved in an aqueous solution with meglumine gadoterate taken orally over 4 h forms a viscous hydrogel within the intestinal lumen. MRI results from ten volunteers showed good luminal distension, constant signal homogeneity, optimum demarcation of the bowel content from surrounding tissues, and a low rate of artefacts. Our method permits non-invasive high quality MRI of the small bowel.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cathartics / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psyllium / pharmacology*


  • Cathartics
  • Psyllium