Biliary obstruction: Findings at MR cholangiography and cross-sectional MR imaging

Jorge A. Soto, Oscar Alvarez, Jorge E. Lopera, Felipe Múnera, Juan C. Restrepo, Gonzalo Correa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Twenty-two patients with malignant biliary obstruction and 21 patients with suspected obstruction of biliary-enteric anastomoses were evaluated over a 12-month period with magnetic resonance (MR) cholangiography and cross-sectional MR imaging. In patients with malignant obstruction, MR cholangiography helped accurately determine the status of the biliary ductal system by identifying the exact location and extent of the obstruction and the severity of duct dilatation. In so doing, MR cholangiography helped determine whether percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography with antegrade stent placement or retrograde cholangiography with stent placement constituted the more suitable treatment. Cross-sectional MR imaging was necessary to identify the organ of tumor origin, define the tumor margins, and determine the stage of disease. This information helped evaluate the appropriateness of curative surgical therapy versus palliative drainage procedures. In patients with biliary-enteric anastomoses, MR cholangiography clearly depicted the site of the anastomosis and demonstrated the status of the intrahepatic ducts, thereby helping determine which patients would benefit from undergoing antegrade duct cannulation with a drainage procedure or perhaps balloon dilation. In some of these patients, MR cholangiography was sufficient to help plan therapeutic intervention. MR cholangiography also demonstrates the presence and size of biliary stones and associated findings such as intraductal tumor growth. In addition, MR cholangiography may obviate retrograde cholangiography, which can be technically difficult to perform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Bile duct radiography, 76.122
  • Bile ducts, calculi, 76.28
  • Bile ducts, mr, 76.121411, 121412, 121415
  • Bile ducts, stenosis or obstruction, 76.28
  • Bile ducts, surgery, 76.453

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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