Australian Government - Department of Health

Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC)

1190 - MRI for small bowel and pelvis in Crohn disease

Application Number

Application NameMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for small bowel and pelvis in Crohn disease
Description of Medical ServiceThe proposal relates to a new item on the Medicare Benefits Schedule for MRI for patients with Crohn disease, specifically:

    1. for the small intestinal Crohn disease to distinguish inflammatory Crohn disease from complicated Crohn disease (fibrotic or fistulising disease). This distinction is clinically important, since treatment options differ for the two circumstances (medical treatment for inflammatory disease; surgery for intestinal complications). The powerful advantage of MRI is that it does not involve radiation, and is therefore much safer for patients who usually require multiple tests over a lifetime.

    2. for the pelvis to evaluate for pelvic sepsis and fistulas. It permits comprehensive assessment and allows triaging of patients to medical or surgical therapy.

Description of Medical ConditionCrohn disease is a life-long, inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract affecting 1/600 Australians. Its onset occurs at any time, often in teenagers and young adults. Initially, inflammation affects the inner lining of the gut wall but may eventually progress to involve the entire bowel wall segment, resulting in complications such as scarring, abscess or fistula.

The symptoms, investigations and therapy depend on the anatomical site and stage of inflammation. Gastro-intestinal inflammation results in diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bleeding, and weight loss. Progressive intestinal scarring leads to nausea, vomiting, pain and bowel obstruction. Intestinal perforation leads to intra-abdominal abscess, fistula or peritonitis.

Perianal or rectovaginal fistula cause anal pain, discharge, incontinence and impaired sexual function.

Extra-intestinal associations include anaemia, nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, arthritis and skin reactions. Crohn disease impairs quality of life, and impacts adversely on education, work, personal relationships and recreational pursuits. Crohn disease is associated with substantial psychological morbidity.
Consultation28 May 2012 to 5 July 2012
PDF Version Consultation Protocol (PDF 795 KB)
Word Version Consultation Protocol (Word 697 KB)
ProtocolPDF Version Final Protocol (PDF 438 KB)
Word Version Final Protocol (Word 730 KB)
ReportsPDF Version Contracted Assessment Report (PDF 1213 KB)
Word Version Contracted Assessment Report (Word 713 KB)
MSAC OutcomesPDF Version Public Summary Document (PDF 104 KB)
Word Version Public Summary Document (Word 84 KB)

Meetings for this Application

Meeting Type:Date:
PASC12 – 13 April 2012, 16 – 17 August 2012
ESC 13 – 14 February 2014
MSAC 3 – 4 April 2014

Page currency, Latest update: 16 April, 2015