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MR imaging of the gastro-intestinal tract in children.

MR imaging (MRI) is an established method for the evaluation of particularly inflammatory bowel disease in adults, as well as for acute abdominal pain in pregnant women. Despite the fact that MRI is ideally suited for the evaluation of children the method is still not established in these patients. The value of MRI in Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and appendicitis as well as intestinal tumors and malformations has been documented in children. There will be more indications in the future depending on the development of new imaging techniques, faster sequences, stronger gradients and increasing availability. Furthermore, the radiologist's attention must be drawn to decrease the radiation burden in children and to replace ionizing techniques especially in chronic disease with the need for repeated follow-up studies and in younger children. This review will discuss some general considerations for the use of MRI in evaluating the paediatric gastro-intestinal tract.

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