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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is the preferred scan imaging of the anal canal as opposed to CT scan, because the anal canal is a relatively small organ, made of only soft tissues, no bones, so it’s usual disease processes show up better on magnetic resonance imaging.

Anal canal MRI is excellent in the diagnosis of anal abscesses and fistulas. It helps with the operative plan as well. It is often ordered for chronic anal and rectal pain to exclude hidden, smaller abscesses or fistulas, which can be very painful.

What to expect when going for this procedure?

MRI scan of the anal canal is ordered by your surgeon or proctologist but performed at the radiology department. No bowel preparation is needed for the test.

Often an intravenous contrast injection is given during the scan, therefore they might ask you to fast for a few hours prior to the test and a blood test is taken to make sure your kidney is functioning well. This contrast is not the iodine contrast what they use for CT scan, allergy is much less frequent.

The result of the scan is only available 1-2 days after the scan is done. It is advised you set up a free follow-up with your doctor to discuss the images and the plan of treatment after you have done the test.

MRI Anal Canal Male

MRI Anal Canal Female