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MR imaging of perianal fistulas in Crohn's disease: Sensitivity and specificity of STIR sequences

  • Authors: Re, G.; Tudisca, C.; Vernuccio, F.; Picone, D.; Cappello, M.; Agnello, F.; Galia, M.; Galfano, M.; Biscaldi, E.; Salerno, S.; Pinto, A.; Midiri, M.; Lagalla, R.
  • Publication year: 2016
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Introduction Although some studies proved the role of STIR sequences in the evaluation of perianal fistulas in Crohn's Disease (CD), contrast medium is still injected in many institutions since there is not a validated reference MR protocol. Our purpose was to evaluate the role of the STIR sequence in the detection and characterization of perianal fistulae comparing it to the post-contrast T1 sequence and correlating it with rectal examination under anesthesia. Materials and methods We retrospectively reviewed all clinical records of 31 CD patients, suspected of having perianal fistulas, who had been submitted to an MR study before and after contrast medium injection and surgical exploration under anesthesia within the same month. Perianal fistulas were classified according to the Parks' criteria. Finally, comparison between STIR and post-contrast T1-weighted fat saturated sequences was done. Results 29 fistulas were detected in 25 patients who underwent an MR study. There was no significant difference between MR imaging and exploration under anesthesia. For the detection of perianal fistulas of any type, there was a perfect statistical agreement between gadolinium-enhanced and STIR sequences (kappa value = 1). Conclusion STIR sequences represent a valid alternative to the T1-weighted sequences acquired after the injection of contrast medium, allowing the identification of the primary fistula, any secondary ramification, and complications of the disease.