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Magn Reson Imaging. 1999 Jan;17(1):59-67.

MR virtual endoscopy of the pancreaticobiliary tract.

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  • 1Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Pisa, Italy.



To evaluate the feasibility of surface-rendered magnetic resonance virtual endoscopy (MRVE) of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) data sets. We retrospectively reviewed MR cholangiopancreatography data sets of 120 patients with biliary stone (n=40), inflammatory ampullary stenosis (n=12), pancreatic tumor (n=8), cholangiocarcinoma (n=7), stenosis of surgical bilio-enteric anastomosis (n=4), extrinsic localized common bile duct stenosis (n=2), ampullary carcinoma (n=2), pancreatic duct stone (n=1), tumor of the gallbladder (n=1), and normal pancreaticobiliary tree (n=43). MRVE views were generated with Navigator software. Segmentation of the acquired data sets was performed with a thresholding technique. Navigation sequences were simulated through the entire biliary tract. MRVE was obtained in 27 (63%) of the 43 normal patients. Endoscopic views were generated in all 77 patients with partial or complete obstruction of the pancreaticobiliary tree. Among these, three groups of patterns were identified: 36 (47%) endoluminal masses (polyp-like masses), 17 (22%) luminal stenoses, 24 (31%) luminal occlusion. In 29 cases, hole artifacts through the internal wall were observed and interpreted as mistakes of segmentation. MRVE proved to show the internal anatomy of the biliary tract and endoluminal changes due to pathological condition. Further investigations are needed to test the usefulness and the potentialities of this technique.

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