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Acta Radiol. 2006 May;47(4):345-58.

Diagnostic imaging of carcinomas of the gallbladder and the bile ducts.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, OYS, Finland.


Early diagnosis and accurate staging of carcinomas of the gallbladder and the bile ducts are helpful in improving the prognosis. Ultrasonography (US), a useful initial modality when exploring the background of jaundice or non-specific gastrointestinal complaints, sensitively reveals bile duct obstruction in particular. In unclear cases, or if US suggests a resectable biliary malignancy, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with magnetic resonance cholangiography (MRC) and / or traditional cholangiography often provide additional information, and imaging-guided fine-needle biopsy or an endoscopic brush sample may verify the malignant nature of the tumor. Complementary modalities are usually needed for accurate staging, and traditional cholangiography is often performed for therapeutic purposes as well. Comparative studies of MRI with MRC and multidetector CT in biliary cancers would be welcome.

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