Breath-hold magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography in the evaluation of malignant pancreaticobiliary obstruction

Lawrence H. Schwartz, Robert A. Lefkowitz, David M. Panicek, Fergus V. Coakley, William Jarnagin, Ronald Dematteo, Yuman Fong, Leslie Blumgart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) using a breath-hold single-shot fast spin echo (SSFSE) technique in imaging patients with malignant biliary and/or pancreatic duct obstruction. Methods: One hundred thirty-one breath-hold MRCP studies in patients with malignant pancreatic and/or biliary obstruction were evaluated. Pathologic diagnoses included pancreatic cancer, biliary malignancy, gallbladder carcinoma, hepatic neoplasms, malignant lymphadenopathy, and ampullary carcinoma. Two observers independently reviewed the images in a blinded fashion to assess the level of obstruction and the site of underlying tumor. Results: The level of obstruction was correctly identified in 104 of 131 cases (79%) by observer 1 and in 107 of 131 cases (82%) by observer 2. The site of underlying tumor was correctly identified in 113 of 131 cases (86%) by observer 1 and in 110 of 131 cases (84%) by observer 2. Conclusion: Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography utilizing the SSFSE technique can accurately assess the level of obstruction and the site of underlying tumor in patients with malignant pancreaticobiliary obstruction, without the risks of cholangiography, This MRCP technique allows for visualization of intra- and extraductal anatomy and pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2003



  • Bile duct neoplasm
  • Bile duct radiography
  • Magnetic resonance (MR) pulse sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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