n SA Journal of Radiology - Accuracy of MRCP compared with ERCP in the diagnosis of bile duct disorders : original article




. To determine the accuracy of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) compared with the gold standard endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in the diagnosis of bile duct disorders at Universitas Hospital, University of the Free State (UFS), Bloemfontein.

. Fifty-two patients with suspected pancreatobiliary pathology were included in this prospective observational study. MRCP was performed in the 24-hour period prior to ERCP.
. MRCP had sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of 87%, 80%, 83.3% and 84.2% respectively for choledocholithiasis, which correlates well with results obtained in other parts of the world.
. At UFS, MRCP has high diagnostic accuracy for bile duct calculi. Owing to a small study population, results for other biliary pathology were inconclusive. However, if no therapeutic intervention is found to be necessary, MRCP avoids the potential morbidity and mortality associated with ERCP. MRCP is particularly useful where ERCP is difficult, hazardous or impossible. It is also an important option for patients with failed ERCPs. ERCP and MRCP have different contraindications, allowing them to be used as complementary techniques.


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