High-resolution MRI for primary anal fistulas

Xiang Ran Cai, Quan Fei Meng, Zhong Wei Zhang, Si Run Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the accuracy and clinical value of preoperative high-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with a phased-array coil for the detection of anal fistulas. Methods: A total of 20 patients with surgically proved anal fistulas underwent preoperative MR imaging with phased-array coil at 1.5 T MR unit. The imaging protocol included high-resolution T2-weighted turbo spin echo sequence acquisition at axial, sagittal and coronal planes and axial T2-weighted sequence with fat suppression. Results: Twenty patients were found to have 27 fistulas, 24 internal openings, 28 external openings, and 10 perianal abcesses. The sensitivity and specificity for detecting primary fistula tracks, abscesses and internal openings were 92.6% (25/27) and 92.3% (12/13), 100.0% (10/10) and 96.3% (26/27), 91.7% (22/24) and 85.7% (12/14), respectively. Conclusion: High-resolution MR imaging is a very accurate preoperative technique for evaluating the classification of fistula-in-ano, the course of primary tracks and the presence of abscesses, thus providing important information for proper surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-715
Number of pages3
JournalChinese Journal of Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Anal canal
  • Fistula
  • Magnetic resonance imaging


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