, Volume 166, Issue 3, pp 211-214
Date: 08 Sep 2006

Usefulness of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography in biliary structures in infants: a four-case report

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In this paper, we report the usefulness of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) in excluding biliary atresia (BA) as the cause of neonatal cholestasis. MRCP with a 1.5-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging unit was performed on four jaundiced neonates and infants aged from 38 days to 106 days. The diagnosis of BA (n=2) was confirmed with surgery, liver biopsy and surgical cholangiography. Diagnosis of neonatal hepatitis (NH, n=2) was confirmed with clinical follow-up until jaundice resolved, while one of them was diagnosed with surgical cholangiography. In all discoloured acholic stools, increased direct bilirubin (4.4–11.3 mg/dl) with positive lipoprotein X prompted technetium 99mTc disofenin scanning, which showed no excretion. Computed tomography (CT) showed a gallbladder in one with hepatitis but no intrahepatic bile duct in two with BA. The Kasai operation was performed in two patients with BA. In two patients with BA, neither the common bile duct nor the common hepatic ducts were visible at MRCP. In two patients with NH, MRCP clearly depicted both the common hepatic and the common bile ducts. MRCP was accurate in excluding BA as the cause of neonatal cholestasis, while 99mTc disofenin cholescintigraphic findings were false-positive in two patients with non-obstructive cholestasis. We conclude that MRCP can be used to depict the major biliary structures of neonates and small infants and to exclude BA as the cause of neonatal cholestasis by allowing visualisation of the biliary tract.