Background and Aims: Screening for colonic polyps is desirable. A new concept based on cross-sectional and endoscopic analysis of a magnetic resonance (MR) data set is presented. Methods: Ex vivo autopsy colonic specimens, containing artificially placed polyps, were obtained and filled with a gadolinium-containing solution. Forty-four thin-section MR images were obtained in a 1.5-T MR scanner in 28 seconds. A three-dimensional endoscopic fly-through of these images was rendered. Fly-throughs and two-dimensional cross-sectional images were analyzed by two observers for the presence of polyps. Results: The average sensitivity and specificity for the detection of polyps based on three-dimensional endoscopic MR colon imaging were 87% and 96%, respectively. Analysis of cross-sectional images showed an overall sensitivity and specificity of merely 57% and 84%, respectively. The difference in the interpretation of three-dimensional MR colonoscopy and two- dimensional cross-sections was statistically significant (P < 0.001). With three-dimensional MR colonoscopy, overall sensitivity for detection of polyps measuring ≤5 mm in length and diameter was 70%; for larger polyps, it increased to 95% (P < 0.01). Conclusions: The feasibility of an MR-based endoluminal assessment of the colon is shown. Minimal invasiveness, lack of radiation exposure, and high in vitro diagnostic accuracy warrant further investigation of this novel concept.
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