The role of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and diffusion-weighted imaging for the differential diagnosis of obstructive biliary disorders
Background: Although endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is accepted as the gold standard, there is a place for magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in the diagnosis of obstructive biliary disorders.
Aim: To compare the findings of MRCP with ERCP in patients with obstructive biliary disorders and to investigate the diagnostic efficacy of MRCP combined with DWI.
Study design: Retrospective, analytic, cross-sectional study.
Methods: The MRCP images of 126 patients who underwent both MRCP and ERCP owing to biliary obstruction were reviewed. Nine patients were excluded because of incomplete diagnostic workup or a long period (>3 months) between MRCP and ERCP. Ninety-two patients underwent DWI, which was also evaluated. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of MRCP and DWI were analysed.
Results: The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of MRCP according to ERCP results as the gold standard was 97%, 71% and 93% for assessment of biliary dilatation; 100%, 94.7% and 97.5% for the diagnosis of choledocholithiasis; 93.7%, 100% and 99% for the identification of benign strictures; 100%, 100% and 100% for the diagnosis of malignant tumours; and 100%, 100% and 100% for the detection of complicated hydatid cysts; respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of DWI for the diagnosis of malignant tumour was 100%. In the detection of choledocholithiasis, the sensitivity and specificity of DWI was 70.8% and 100%.
Conclusions: MRCP is an alternative, non-invasive, diagnostic modality, comparable with ERCP for the evaluation of pancreaticobiliary diseases. DWI can be helpful for diagnosis of choledocholithiasis and tumours.