Physiology of the small bowel: A new approach using MRI and proposal for a new metric of function

Toms, Andoni P., Farghal, Aser, Kasmai, Bahman, Bagnall, Anthony and Malcolm, Paul N. (2011) Physiology of the small bowel: A new approach using MRI and proposal for a new metric of function. Medical Hypotheses, 76 (6). pp. 834-839. ISSN 1532-2777

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Background: The mechanics of small bowel motility are extremely complex. Routine clinical access to small bowel has been restricted to radiological enteric contrast studies which have not contributed significantly to the understanding of small bowel physiology. Small bowel mechanics are understood within a framework of individual visible or measurable elements such as peristaltic wave formation, intra-luminal pressure gradients and transit times. There are no global measures of small bowel function that can be readily obtained in vivo in humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is playing an increasingly important role in radiological diagnosis of small bowel disease and dynamic MRI offers the possibility of capturing small bowel movement in three-dimensional cinematic datasets. The metrics that are used to describe small bowel mechanics, typically anatomical measures in isolated segments, are not suited to analysing these large dynamic datasets. The proposal in this paper is to leave behind all previously described anatomical metrics and to describe anew the mechanics of small bowel movement in mathematical terms derived from changes in pixel intensity within dynamic MRI datasets so that global small bowel activity might be summarised in a single novel metric. Hypothesis: The hypothesis of this paper is that global small bowel activity can be quantified by a new dynamic MR based metric. Evaluation: A proposed strategy for evaluation includes a progression through feasibility, optimisation, reliability and validation studies. Thereafter normal volunteers would be required in order to define normal ranges for the new metric. These ranges would describe small bowel activity during fasting or after ingestion of fluids and standard meals. Mathematical modelling of the data could follow a two stage approach. The first stage could be to study segmentation or extraction techniques by which the small bowel activity could be isolated from MRI signal generated by the rest of the abdomen. The second stage would be to apply a number of data mining techniques that would identify significant features within the datasets. Conclusion: If this approach proves to be a useful model for studying small bowel physiology in humans, it would afford significant new avenues of research and treatment particularly in areas such as enteric drug delivery, the ageing gut, and nutrition.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Faculty of Science > School of Computing Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Data Science and Statistics
Depositing User: Users 2731 not found.
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2011 11:11
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 08:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.02.031

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