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Quantitative MR Enterography Markers of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases via Radiology-Pathology Fusion

Key Personnel

  • Marius George Linguraru, DPhil
  • Juan Cerrolaza, Ph.D. 

It is estimated that approximately 1.4 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases with more than 550,000 affected by Crohn’s disease, the incidence and prevalence of which has been increasing over time. Crohn’s disease presents most commonly between the ages of 15 to 30 and for many, this condition requires lifelong care with medical titration and often surgery. Clinical identification of Crohn’s disease is performed based on clinical symptoms (which are largely subjective), with confirmation using an endoscopy and/or colonoscopy with tissue biopsy. However, these techniques have limited access to areas of the small bowel, carry a risk of perforation, and do not provide an accurate assessment of disease severity. Because Crohn’s may cause serious complications, an effective, non-invasive method for identifying disease location and severity and monitoring disease activity is greatly needed to guide treatment.

In response to this clinical need, we have developed a software technology that quantifies small bowel peristalsis in mm/s from dynamic magnetic resonance enterography sequences. This functional activity map of the small bowel is then fused with the structural information from additional imaging sequences to evaluate and follow Crohn’s disease. At the next stage, we will investigate how imaging biomarkers can assess the severity of Crohn’s disease in the small bowel.