Computerized tomography (CT) scans with a contrast agent in the small intestine are made for two different purposes. The first is to make the small intestine clearly visible on the images, so it can be excluded when looking for lesions in other organs. The second purpose is to depict lesions in the small intestine itself – processes that most often originate from the mucosa, that forms the interface to the small intestine´s interior.
Existing contrast agents can only produce a low contrast between the intestine´s wall and interior, a limitation that hampers the diagnostic work-up. For advanced diagnostics Magnetic Resonance technology (MRI) is required, since it shows the mucosa in brilliant white against a black intestine interior. But MRI technology is costly and not easily accessible even at prestigious and academic hospitals. Furthermore, it is usually perceived as more inconvenient by the patient and handles significantly fewer scans per day compared to a CT scanner.
It is well known that air appears in black – as a so called negative contrast – on X-ray images. Unlike the large intestine, where air can be easily injected through the rectum, there are physiological barriers to aerate the small intestine, making this both difficult and un-friendly to the patient. The scientists behind Lumentin® have solved this problem in an elegant way.
Lumentin® is the food-based contrast agent that provides MRI-class images with the simpler and faster CT-equipment, and with minimal inconvenience for the patient.