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Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Dec;52(12):3499-506. Epub 2007 Apr 5.

Correlation between findings on MRCP and gadolinium-enhanced MR of the liver and a survival model for primary sclerosing cholangitis.

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Department of Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a chronic, progressive disease of inflammation and fibrosis of the bile ducts. The ability to predict survival is important for appropriate management and treatment decisions. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between specific findings on the enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination of the liver and the corresponding magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatogram (MRCP) and a survival model for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), the Mayo Risk Score. During a five-year period, 47 patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis were identified who had a complete MRI/MRCP examination. The extent of anatomical changes of the biliary tree and the degree of peribiliary enhancement in the hepatic parenchyma were compared with the Mayo Risk Score for each patient. Peribiliary enhancement was present to a varying extent in 38 of 47 cases of PSC. Peribiliary enhancement 3 min after gadolinium administration had a weak correlation with the Mayo Risk Score (analysis of variance P<0.01, Pearson correlation r=0.37). No statistically significant relationship between the severity of extrahepatic or intrahepatic duct changes and the Mayo Risk Score was found (analysis of variance P=0.24, P=0.38, respectively). Although biliary tree changes on MRCP aid in the diagnosis of PSC, they do not correlate with survival, as predicted by the Mayo Risk Score. Peribiliary enhancement on MRI of the liver is a finding occurring to a variable extent in primary sclerosing cholangitis but does not correlate significantly with survival.

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