Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the term used to identify a form of chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that primarily contemplates two major entities: ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). The classic signs are abdominal pain and diarrhoea that correlate with the localization of gastro-enteric disease, although in this pathology extraintestinal symptoms may coexist. The diagnosis of CD relies on a synergistic combination of clinical, laboratory (stool and biochemical), cross-sectional imaging evaluation, as well as endoscopic and histologic assessments. The purpose of this paper is to prove the role of imaging in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with CD with particular focus on recent innovations of magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) as a pivotal diagnostic tool, analysing the MRE study protocol and imaging features during the various phases of disease activity and its complications.
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