MRI evaluation of anal and perianal diseases

Diagn Interv Radiol. 2019 Jan;25(1):21-27. doi: 10.5152/dir.2018.17499.


Anal and perianal region is a commonly affected area in the course of several inflammatory, infectious, and neoplastic diseases. Several imaging modalities may be used in imaging evaluation of this area and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) emerges as the imaging modality of choice due to its superb soft tissue resolution. MRI is not only useful for initial detection of anal/perianal pathologies but also in the follow-up of these disorders. In this article, we aimed to illustrate MRI findings of several diseases affecting this area including perianal fistula as well as anal fissure, hypertrophic myopathy of internal anal sphincter, hidradenitis suppurativa, pilonidal sinus, rectovaginal/anovaginal fistula and anal canal carcinoma. We think that this article will serve to familiarize the imaging specialists to the MRI findings of these diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Anal Canal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Anal Canal / pathology
  • Anus Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Anus Diseases / epidemiology
  • Anus Diseases / pathology
  • Anus Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Anus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Fissure in Ano / diagnostic imaging
  • Fissure in Ano / pathology
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / diagnostic imaging
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Pilonidal Sinus / diagnostic imaging
  • Pilonidal Sinus / pathology
  • Preoperative Care / standards
  • Rectal Fistula / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rectal Fistula / pathology
  • Rectovaginal Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Rectovaginal Fistula / pathology

Supplementary concepts

  • Anal Canal Carcinoma