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Flattening in the Anteroposterior Direction of the Terminal Ileum or Sigmoid Colon Lying Across the Psoas Muscle on Magnetic Resonance Enterography in Patients with Crohn's Disease

Objective: Flattening in the anteroposterior direction (AP flattening) of the terminal ileum (TI) or sigmoid colon (SC) lying across the psoas muscle, on magnetic resonance enterography (MRE), might mimic bowel inflammation in the coronal view. This study investigated the prevalence of AP flattening and the factors associated with its development. Materials and methods: A total of 364 surgery-naive patients with Crohn's disease (CD) who had undergone MRE were retrospectively reviewed. AP flattening was defined as a luminal collapse in the anteroposterior direction, with a bowel width in the axial plane < 1/4 of the normal diameter without reduction of bowel width in coronal images. The prevalence of AP flattening of the TI and SC on MRE in patients with bowel segments lying across the psoas muscle was determined. We further compared the rate of AP flattening between MRE and computed tomography enterography (CTE) in a subcohort of patients with prior CTE. The factors associated with AP flattening were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression in a subcohort of patients with endoscopic findings of TI. Results: Three hundred and twenty-two and 363 patients, respectively, had TI and SC lying across the psoas muscle. The prevalence of AP flattening on MRE was 7.5% (24/322) in TI and 5.2% (19/363) in SC. The prevalences were significantly higher on MRE than on CTE in both the TI (7.3% [12/164] vs. 0.6% [1/164]; p = 0.003) and SC (5.8% [11/190] vs. 1.6% [3/190]; p = 0.039). AP flattening of the TI was independently and strongly associated with the absence of CD inflammation on endoscopy, with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.066 (p = 0.003) for the presence versus the absence (reference) of inflammation. Conclusion: AP flattening of the TI or SC lying across the psoas muscle was uncommon and predominantly observed on MRE of the bowel without CD inflammation.

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