Neoplastic pancreaticobiliary duct obstruction: Evaluation with breath- hold MR cholangiopancreatography

Lawrence H. Schwartz, Fergus V. Coakley, Yi Sun, Leslie H. Blumgart, Yuman Fong, David M. Panicek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of breath-hold single-shot fast spin-echo MR cholangiopancreatography in neoplastic pancreaticobiliary duct obstruction. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Breath-hold MR cholangiopancreatography was performed for preoperative examination of 32 consecutive patients with pathologically confirmed neoplastic obstruction of the biliary tract or pancreatic duct using a single-shot fast spin-echo sequence. Two observers, unaware of clinical or pathologic findings, independently reviewed the MR cholangiopancreatograms to assess level of obstruction and site of underlying tumor. Pathologic diagnoses, based on surgical or CT-guided biopsy specimens, were pancreatic tumor (n = 12), gallbladder cancer (n = 9), intrahepatic cancer (n = 9), and ampullary cancer (n = 2). RESULTS. On the basis of conventional cholangiography, CT, and surgical findings, 20 patients had isolated bile duct obstruction, 11 patients had combined pancreatic and bile duct obstruction, and one patient had isolated pancreatic duct obstruction. Isolated bile duct obstruction was classified as lobar (n = 5), hilar (n = 12), or distal (n = 3). These levels of obstruction were correctly identified in 27 (84%) and 28 (88%) of the 32 cases by the two observers. The site of the underlying tumor was identified in 27 (84%) and 29 (91%) cases by the two observers. Good interobserver agreement was reached for both level of obstruction (κ = .70) and identification of tumor site (κ = .75). CONCLUSION. Breath-hold single-shot fast spin-echo MR cholangiopancreatography is accurate in identifying the level of obstruction and the site of underlying tumor in neoplastic pancreaticobiliary duct obstruction, with good interobserver agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1495
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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