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Br J Radiol. 2013 May;86(1025):20130036. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20130036. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

MR cholangiopancreatography at 3.0 T in children: diagnostic quality and ability in assessment of common paediatric pancreatobiliary pathology.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.



To assess the diagnostic quality of MR cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) at 3.0 T in children and to assess its diagnostic ability in answering the clinical query. Also, to determine the frequency of artefacts and anatomic variations in ductal anatomy.


Consecutive MRCPs performed in children using a 3-T scanner were retrospectively reviewed to note indications, findings, imaging diagnosis, normal variants, quality and artefacts. Analysis was performed based on the final diagnosis assigned by pathology or the combination of clinical, laboratory, imaging features and follow-up to determine whether it was possible to answer the clinical query by MRCP findings.


There were 82 MRCPs performed at 3.0 T on 77 children. 42/82 (51%) MRCPs were of good quality, 35/82 (43%) MRCPs were suboptimal but diagnostic and the remaining 5/82 (6%) MRCPs were non-diagnostic. MRCP answered the clinical query in 61/82 (74%) cases; however, it did not answer the clinical query in 11/82 (14%) cases and was equivocal in 10/82 (12%) cases. There was significant association between the quality of MRCP and the ability of MRCP to answer the clinical query (p<0.0001). 64/82 (78%) MRCP examinations had at least 1 artefact. Variation in the bile duct anatomy was seen in 27/77 (35%) children.


MRCP performed at 3.0 T is of diagnostic quality in most cases and is able to provide an answer to the clinical query in the majority of cases.


3-T MRCP is feasible and useful in the assessment of pancreatobiliary abnormalities in children.

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