Dynamic MRI of the small bowel: usefulness of quantitative contrast-enhancement parameters and time-signal intensity curves for differentiating between active and inactive Crohn's disease

Abdom Imaging. 2010 Dec;35(6):646-53. doi: 10.1007/s00261-010-9624-6.


Purpose: To assess Crohn's disease (CD) activity through analysis of time-signal intensity curves and quantitative contrast-enhancement parameters on dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI.

Materials and methods: 70 patients (male:female = 44:26, age 15-45 years, mean 27.8 years) with biopsy-proven clinically active or inactive CD, underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI after oral administration of iso-osmotic solution. Time-signal intensity curves were classified according to their shape as type I (early upslope with late plateau) and type II (slow contrast material wash-in with late wash-out). Curve parameters such as maximum enhancement (ME), the ratio between late and ME (LE/ME), and UpSlope (US) were compared between patients with active and inactive CD (two-tailed Mann-Whitney test). Sensitivity, specificity, and cut-off for each parameter were calculated by means of receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis.

Results: 53/53 patients with active CD and 17/17 with inactive CD showed type I and type II curves, respectively. ME, LE/ME, and US were significantly higher in active than in inactive CD. ME, LE/ME, and US had sensitivity and specificity of 100%:100%:100% and 100%:83%:100% with cut-offs of 135.5:0.8909:2, respectively.

Conclusions: Qualitative and quantitative analysis of time-signal intensity curves obtained with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI allow reliable noninvasive differentiation between active and inactive CD.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contrast Media
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Intestine, Small*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • gadobutrol