Functional cine MR imaging for the detection and mapping of intraabdominal adhesions: method and surgical correlation

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence and localization of intraabdominal adhesions using functional cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to correlate the MR findings with intraoperative results. In a retrospective study, patients who had undergone previous abdominal surgery with suspected intraabdominal adhesions were examined. A true fast imaging with steady state precession sequence in transverse/sagittal orientation was used for a section-by-section dynamic depiction of visceral slide on a 1.5-Tesla system. After MRI, all patients underwent anew surgery. A nine-segment abdominal map was used to document the location and type of the adhesions. The intraoperative results were taken as standard of reference. Ninety patients were enrolled. During surgery 71 adhesions were detected, MRI depicted 68 intraabdominal adhesions. The most common type of adhesion in MRI was found between the anterior abdominal wall and small bowel loops (n = 22, 32.5%) and between small bowel loops and pelvic organs (n = 14, 20.6%). Comparing MRI with the intraoperative findings, sensitivity varied between 31 and 75% with a varying specificity between 65 and 92% in the different segments leading to an overall MRI accuracy of 89%. Functional cine MRI proved to be a useful examination technique for the identification of intraabdominal adhesions in patients with acute or chronic pain and corresponding clinical findings providing accurate results. However, no differentiation for symptomatic versus asymptomatic adhesions is possible.

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