Imaging in Patients with Crohn's Disease: Trends in Abdominal CT/MRI Utilization and Radiation Exposure Considerations over a 10-Year Period
To study the trends in utilization of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with Crohn's disease and to evaluate changes in CT radiation exposure over a 10-year period.Methods:
In this institutional review board–approved single-institution retrospective study, we included patients who underwent CT and MRIs for evaluation of Crohn's disease between 2006 and 2015. A total of 3196 CTs and 1924 MR scans were performed in 2156 patients (mean age: 34.8 ± 17.71 yr; range: 3–91 yr) for initial diagnosis or follow-up of Crohn's disease between 2006 and 2015. Trends in CT/MR utilization was assessed by comparing the volume of CT/MRI studies performed each year. The changes in CT radiation exposure over the study period were estimated and compared.Results:
The annual combined CT/MR utilization demonstrated a 1.9-fold rise over the last decade (2006: n = 358, 2015: n = 681, P < 0.001, r = 0.96). It was predominantly because of a substantial growth (9.2-fold increase) in the MR scan volume (2006: n = 37, 2015: n = 341, P < 0.001, r = 0.93), whereas CT volume did not show significant change (2006: n = 321, 2015: n = 340, P = 0.6). Over this same period, there was a 59.4% reduction in mean radiation exposure (2006: CT dose indexvol 16.9 ± 7.1 mGy, 2015: CT dose indexvol 6.87 ± 4.62 mGy, P < 0.001).Conclusions:
A 9-fold growth in annual MR scan volume contributed to a nearly 2-fold rise in yearly cross-sectional imaging utilization in Crohn's patients between 2006 and 2015. Rising trend in imaging utilization paralleled a 60% reduction of CT radiation exposure.