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MRI Small Bowel Preparation (Klean Prep) – Patient Information

What is MRI small bowel?

MR Enterography or small bowel, is a test which uses a MRI scanner to produce images of the small bowel as it is difficult to see the small bowel. The aim of the preparation for this is to drink enough liquid to fill the small bowel so we can see it better on the scan. Water doesn’t work very well, and so we use a preparation called Klean-Prep.

When can I discuss the test?

You can discuss this with your referring doctor or with the Radiographer before the procedure. On the day before your test Take a light diet only, do not eat fruit or vegetables. Please see the section on foods you can eat and foods to avoid.

What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?

If you have a morning appointment, do not eat food after midnight the night before. You may still drink water.

If you have an afternoon appointment, take an early light breakfast, and have nothing to eat after this. ( Preferably fast for 4-6 hours). You may still drink water.

How long will it take?

The scan may take between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

What happens once I have drunk the drink?

This drink  a mild laxative, but will help us to see your small bowel clearly on the scan, as it distends the bowel with liquid. You may experience some diarrhoea as a result of this drink 1-3 hours after consuming the liquid. After taking the liquid you will be taken into the scan room where the process will be explained to you by the radiographer. Please refer to the Small Bowel MRI information sheet for a more detailed description of the test.

What happens after the test?

We will ask you to stay in the department for 15-20 minutes before going home. You may wish to use the toilet as the Klean-Prep can cause diarrhoea. You should also keep this in mind when making your way home.


If you are diabetic please continue to take any medication as usual.

Before your MRI Scan

You cannot have a MRI scan if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac Pacemaker
  • Cochlear (ear) Implant
  • A metal aneurysm clip in the brain
  • Metallic fragments in the eye
  • Certain Mechanical Implants.

Are there any risks?

MRI small bowel is regarded as a very safe test. Very rarely, problems can occur, and if they do, they are similar to those which could happen with other methods of examining the bowel. These include the following: Abdominal discomfort, faint-like reactions, reaction to the injected contrast (dye), diarrhoea from the Klean-Prep.

Your doctor has asked for this test because they feel that the benefits are greater than the risk of not having the examination. Even so, we cannot guarantee that this test will detect all abnormalities in the bowel.


  • If you are taking medication please check with you referring consultant if you can carry on taking it.
  • If you are pregnant or have had difficulties in the past with Klean-Prep please call us for advice on the 0207 467 4317.

Foods you can eat

  • Tender lean meat, poultry, ham, liver, kidney, texturised vegetable protein
  • Fruit flavoured or set yoghurt
  • Peeled potatoes, boiled, mashed, roasted, carrots, turnips, swede, cauliflower (no stalks)
  • Clear or strained soup
  • Soft tinned fruit in juice (no pips)
  • Water biscuits, cream crackers, rich tea
  • Plain scone (no fruit)
  • Honey, syrup, ice cream
  • Tea, coffee, sugar, sweeteners, but you cannot have milk in your tea or coffee
  • Tomato juice, clear fruit juice, squash, water and fizzy drinks

Foods to avoid

  • Tough meat, beefburgers, sausages
  • Sausage rolls, pies, pasties, pastries
  • Milk, butter, cheese, margarine, fats and oils
  • Whole fruit or muesli yoghurts
  • Jacket potatoes – must be peeled. All other fruit, vegetables and salad
  • Thick soup, Baked beans
  • Wholemeal bread or flour, whole wheat pasta, brown rice
  • High fibre crispbread, digestives, hobnobs
  • Cakes with fruit, nuts, coconut. Loose nuts and dried fruit
  • Jam or marmalade with peel or pips
  • High fibre cereals, porridge, muesli, bran

How do I get my results?

We will send your results to the hospital consultant or GP who asked us to do the test. Our average turn around for results is <24hours but can take up to 5 working days.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Imaging Department at the King Edward VII hospital on: 0207 467 4317