© 2015, The Author(s). Aims: To survey the perceived indications for magnetic resonance imaging of the small bowel (MRE) by experts, when MR enteroclysis (MREc) or MR enterography (MREg) may be chosen, and to determine how the approach to MRE is modified when general anaesthesia (GA) is required. Materials and methods: Selected opinion leaders in MRE completed a questionnaire that included clinical indications (MREg or MREc), specifics regarding administration of enteral contrast, and how the technique is altered to accommodate GA. Results: Fourteen responded. Only the diagnosis and follow-up of Crohn’s disease were considered by over 80 % as a valid MRE indication. The remaining indications ranged between 35.7 % for diagnosis of caeliac disease and unknown sources of gastrointestinal bleeding to 78.6 % for motility disorders. The majority chose MREg over MREc for all indications (from 100 % for follow-up of caeliac disease to 57.7 % for tumour diagnosis). Fifty per cent of responders had needed to consider MRE under GA. The most commonly recommended procedural change was MRI without enteral distention. Three had experience with intubation under GA (MREc modification). Conclusion: Views were variable. Requests for MRE under GA are not uncommon. Presently most opinion leaders suggest standard abdominal MRI when GA is required. Main messages: • Experts are using MRE for various indications. • Requests for MRE under general anaesthesia are not uncommon. • Some radiologists employ MREc under general anaesthesia; others do not distend the small bowel.