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Eur Radiol. 2008 Jan;18(1):78-86. doi: 10.1007/s00330-007-0670-6. Epub 2007 May 22.

Magnetic resonance cholangiography: comparison of two- and three-dimensional sequences for assessment of malignant biliary obstruction.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seodaemun-ku Shinchon-dong 134, Seoul, 120-752, South Korea.


The purpose was to retrospectively compare two-dimensional (2D) magnetic resonance cholangiography (MRC) including breath-hold single-shot rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) and multislice half-Fourier RARE versus navigator-triggered 3D-RARE MRC in the evaluation of biliary malignancy. MRC findings were evaluated in 31 patients with malignant biliary obstruction, including biliary malignancy, gallbladder carcinoma, and ampullary cancer. Two observers independently reviewed the images to assess the overall image quality, artifacts, ductal conspicuity, extent of disease, diagnostic confidence of tumor extent, and origin of tumor. The results were compared with surgical and histopathologic findings. Studies obtained with 3D-MRC were of significantly higher technical quality than those obtained with 2D-MRC. However, the accuracy between two sequences for classification of tumor showed no statistical significance. There was no significant difference between the Az values of 2D- and 3D-MRC for overall tumor extent in bilateral second order branch, intrapancreatic common bile duct (CBD) involvement (Az = 0.889, 0.881 for 2D and Az = 0.903, 0.864 for 3D). Nor was there a significant difference between two sequences in the assessment of the origin of tumor. Although 3D-MRC has superior image quality over 2D-MRC, 3D-MRC showed no statistically significant difference in accuracy compared with 2D-MRC for evaluating the extent of disease in malignant biliary obstructions.

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