, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 413-417
Date: 02 Feb 2002

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography in primary sclerosing cholangitis in children

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Background: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic cholestatic syndrome of unknown aetiology. Diagnosis is based on clinical and laboratory data in conjunction with imaging of the biliary tree using endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Objective: To evaluate the clinical usefulness of MR cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) in the diagnosis of PSC in children. Materials and methods: Twenty-one children with clinical and laboratory suspicion of PSC were enrolled. MRCP was performed using a superconductive system with a phased-array coil. Rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) T2-weighted and half-Fourier single-shot turbo-spin-echo (HASTE) sequences were used. The distribution and extent of biliary tree changes were evaluated and classified according to Majoie's classification. A comparison between MRCP and ERCP was performed blind in all cases to evaluate the usefulness of MRI. Results: In 13 cases (62%), MRCP showed abnormalities of the biliary tree which were considered positive for PSC, while in 8 cases there were no signs of PSC. Both MRCP and ERCP correctly identified changes in 13 cases and excluded abnormalities in 5. MRCP had a sensitivity of 81%, specificity of 100%, negative predictive value of 62%, positive predictive value of 100% and an accuracy of 85%. Conclusions: MRCP can be proposed as the preliminary non-invasive imaging modality for the diagnosis of PSC in children.

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