- Conventional methods of quantifying segmental and peristaltic motion in animal models are highly invasive; involving, for example, the external isolation of segments of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract either from dead or anesthetized animals. The present study was undertaken to determine the utility of MRI to quantitatively analyze these motions in the jejunum region of anesthetized rats (N = 6) noninvasively. Dynamic images of the GI tract after oral gavage with a Gd contrast agent were acquired at a rate of six frames per second, followed by image segmentation based on a combination of three-dimensional live wire (3D LW) and directional dynamic gradient vector flow snakes (DDGVFS). Quantitative analysis of the variation in diameter at a fixed constricting location showed clear indications of both segmental and peristaltic motions. Quantitative analysis of the frequency response gave results in good agreement with those acquired in previous studies using invasive measurement techniques. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the segmented data using active shape models resulted in three major modes. The individual modes revealed unique spatial patterns for peristaltic and segmental motility.