Background In the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD), mucosal healing has become a major goal, with the hope of avoiding intestinal damage from chronic inflammation. Magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) has emerged as a non-invasive means of monitoring inflammation and damage. Aims As part of the development of MRE-based multi-item measures of inflammation and damage for paediatric studies, we carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify MRE variables used to describe these two distinct concepts.
Methods 2501 studies of MRI and CD were identified. Studies written in any language reporting individual MRE signs for patients diagnosed with CD were included. Two-hundred-and-forty-four studies were fully reviewed and 62 were included (inflammation, n = 51; damage, n = 24). Sensitivity, specificity and associated confidence intervals were calculated, and hierarchical summary ROC curves were constructed for each MRE sign.
Results A total of 22 MRE signs were used to reflect inflammation, and 9 to reflect damage. Diagnostic accuracy of MRE signs of inflammation and damage was heterogeneous; however, wall enhancement, mucosal lesions and wall T2 hyperintensity were the most consistently useful for inflammation (most sensitivities >80% and specificities >90%), and detection of abscess and fistula were most consistently useful for damage (most sensitivities >90%, specificities >95%).
Conclusions Identifying the best MRE variables to reflect inflammation and damage will maximise the utility of this rapidly emerging technique and is the first stage of constructing MRE-based indices for evaluating inflammation and intestinal damage.
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© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.