Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Abscess and Anal Fistula

  • Adrian E. Ortega
  • Hector Lugo-Colon
  • Alberto Diaz-Carranza
  • Howard S. Kaufman


Cryptoglandular infection represents one of the oldest known surgically treated conditions and to this day continues to bewilder even the most experienced colorectal surgeons. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are both valuable modalities with which to evaluate acute anorectal infections; however, they both have advantages and disadvantages in this setting. For example, CT scanning is readily available 24 hours a day in most major hospitals, and whereas it is perhaps most valuable when excluding ongoing concomitant infections, it has a very limited role in evaluating anal fistula. MRI is more effective than CT in evaluating softtissue structures, and the different MRI techniques now available, such as body-coil MRI, phased-array MRI, high-resolution MR fistulography, and subtraction fistulography, increases MRI utility for evaluating recurrent and complex anal fistulas. In fact, the current state of the art suggests that MRI is the gold standard for imaging such condition in most centers throughout the world.


Anal Fistula Transsphincteric Fistula Complex Anal Fistula Anorectal Infection Ischioanal Fossa 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian E. Ortega
    • 1
  • Hector Lugo-Colon
    • 2
  • Alberto Diaz-Carranza
    • 2
  • Howard S. Kaufman
    • 3
  1. 1.Keck School of Medicine at USC and Colorectal Gold Surgery ServiceLAC+USC Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Keck School of Medicine at USCLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Division of Pelvic Floor and Colorectal Surgery Keck School of Medicine at USC and General Surgery ServiceUSC University HospitalLos AngelesUSA

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