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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 16

of 'Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography'

Magnetic resonance-cholangiopancreatography in the diagnosis of biliopancreatic diseases.
Lomanto D, Pavone P, Laghi A, Panebianco V, Mazzocchi P, Fiocca F, Lezoche E, Passariello R, Speranza V
Am J Surg. 1997;174(1):33.
BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a new, noninvasive imaging technique for the visualization of the biliary ducts with cholangiographic images similar to those obtained with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography. No contrast medium injection is used. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of MRCP versus ERCP in the diagnosis of biliary tract and pancreatic diseases.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and thirty-six patients were submitted to MRCP. They were referred to MR study according to four inclusion criteria: (1) evidence or suspicion of choledocholithiasis, (2) benign or malignant bile ducts stenosis, (3) follow-up of patients submitted to biliary-enteric anastomosis, and (4) chronic pancreatitis with Wirsung duct dilatation. The MRCP was performed with a 0.5T superconducting magnet (Philips Gyroscan T5). When neoplastic disease was detected, additional images on axial planes were acquired. MRCP allowed images of diagnostic value to be obtained in all the cases.
RESULTS: In choledocholithiasis, MRCP showed 91.6% sensitivity, 100% specificity, and overall diagnostic accuracy 96.8%. Of 48 patients with stenotic lesions, 16 were correctly characterized as benign and 30 as malignant. Two cases of focal chronic pancreatitis were misdiagnosed as pancreatic head carcinoma. In the patients submitted to biliary-enteric anastomosis, MCRP was able to detect the dilatation of the intrahepatic ducts, the stenosis, and associated stones in all 8 positive cases. In the remaining 7 patients with mild signs of cholangitis, MCRP showed irregular aspects of the biliary tree in the main ducts. In the 11 patients with chronic pancreatitis, MCRP was able to depict the dilated Wirsung duct and the stenotic tract, although the fine details of the secondary ducts were not evaluated due to the low spatial resolution as compared with conventional films.
CONCLUSIONS: MRCP can be considered a technique able to completely replace diagnostic ERCP. Further studies are necessary for a better evaluation of the potential advantages and disadvantages of this technique.
Istituto di Clinica Chirurgica II, University of La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.