MRI of perianal fistulas: Bridging the radiological-surgical divide

Kenneth L. Gage, Swati Deshmukh, Katarzyna J. Macura, Ihab R. Kamel, Atif Zaheer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Perianal fistula is a clinical entity with multiple surgical treatment options. Recently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as an important imaging modality in the management of perianal fistulas. It provides accurate description of the fistula within the anal canal in relation to the sphincter complex and other pelvic floor structures as well as the associated complications such as abscess. By understanding the surgical viewpoint, the appearance of perianal fistulas, associated complications, and post-treatment findings of commonly used surgical interventions can more accurately be interpreted to aid clinicians. The objective of the article is to review MRI indications and findings, radiological versus surgical classification schemes, and surgical treatment options for perianal fistulas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1042
Number of pages10
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Classification
  • Crohn's disease
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Perianal fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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