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Iatreia

Print version ISSN 0121-0793

Abstract

CASTRILLON, Germán Alberto; SASTOQUE RIVERA, Carlos Eduardo  and  HERRERA TORO, Mirian Natalia. Clinical usefulness of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. Iatreia [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.2, pp.199-208. ISSN 0121-0793.

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is the most recent and important imaging alternative for biliary and pancreatic tract evaluation. The advantages of this method are: no use of contrast medium or ionizing radiation; no invasiveness and therefore no complications and its duration is approximately only 20 to 30 minutes. It has high sensitivity and specificity for biliary dilatation and to demonstrate the cause and site of stenoses. For biliary and pancreatic duct stones its accuracy is similar to that of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). In anatomical variants of biliary and pancreatic ducts MRCP has replaced ERCP as a diagnostic method. In unsuccessful ERCP, MRCP is almost the only alternative for evaluating the biliary and pancreatic tracts. Other more recent application of MRCP is primary sclerosing cholangitis with some advantages over ERCP. This article is a review about the clinical usefulness of MRCP in the evaluation of the biliary and pancreatic tracts.

Keywords : biliary and pancreatic tract dilatation; endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP); magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP).

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