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Eur Radiol. 2008 Oct;18(10):2213-21. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-1004-z. Epub 2008 May 8.

MR imaging and MR cholangiopancreatography in the preoperative evaluation of hilar cholangiocarcinoma: correlation with surgical and pathologic findings.

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Department of Radiology, Umberto I Hospital-La Sapienza University Rome, Viale del Policlinico, 155 00161 Rome, Italy.


The primary aim was to evaluate delayed contrast-enhanced MRI in depicting perineural spread of hilar cholangiocarcinoma (CCC) and consequently to determine the capability of MRI/MRCP for staging CCC. Fifteen patients that underwent MRI/MRCP and surgical treatment were retrospectively included. Two radiologists evaluated MR images to assess delayed periductal enhancement, extent of bile duct stenosis, liver parenchymal and vascular involvement and presence of liver atrophy. An agreement between delayed enhancement of the bile duct walls and perineural neoplastic spread showed a very good correlation factor (0.93). The overall accuracy in detecting biliary neoplastic invasion was higher for delayed T1-weighted images (93.3%) than for the MRCP images (80%), and T1-delayed image increased the MR accuracy in assessing the neoplastic resectability (p<0.05). MRI correctly predicted vascular involvement in 73% and liver involvement in 80% of the cases. The number of overall correctly assessed patients with regard to resectability was 11 true positive, 1 false positive and 3 true negative. The combination of MRI/MRCP is a reliable diagnostic method for staging hilar cholangiocarcinomas. Delayed periductal enhancement is accurate in the evaluation of neoplastic perineural spread, and it can improve diagnostic accuracy to identify resectable and unresectable tumours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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