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Carbon dioxide-enhanced virtual MDCT cholangiopancreatography

  • Topics
  • Recent advances in visualization and imaging in HBP sciences
  • Published:
  • volume 17pages 601–610 (2010)
Journal of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Sciences

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We investigated the feasibility of new carbon dioxide-enhanced virtual multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) cholangiopancreatography (CMCP) for intraluminal exploration in 73 patients with hepatobiliary and pancreatic disease.


CMCP was performed via a percutaneous or transpapillary drainage tube, and, synchronously, intravenous contrast material was employed for virtual angiography; three-dimensional (3D) virtual reality was incorporated using OsiriX and Fovia applications. The capability of carbon dioxide to delineate the biliary and pancreatic system was evaluated.


All CMCPs showed complete technical success; complications including pancreatitis or pain never occurred. The incidences of visible third- and fourth-order biliary branches were 100 and 86.0%. The capability of carbon dioxide to pass an obstruction through an occluded hilar bile duct malignancy was 80.0%; it provided feasible information on additional bile duct segments. The full extent of the gallbladder was depicted in 72.7% of the studies. Minimum 2-mm lesions of biliary stones or gallbladder polyps were clearly detected. The main or second-order pancreatic ducts were visible in 100 and 83.3% of the studies, respectively. Carbon dioxide enabled the replacement of mucin and pancreatic juice and facilitated the detection of cystic lesions of intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) in 75.0% of the studies. We succeeded in achieving 3D spatial recognition of vascular structures in the cholangiopancreatic region, through the fusion of CMCP and 3DCT arteriography and venography in a single image scanning, and radiation time was decreased. This combined modality proved to be feasible for planning operations and for image-guided navigated surgery in the resection of a malignancy.


To our knowledge, this is the first report to demonstrate the diagnostic accuracy of carbon dioxide MDCT cholangiopancreatography and the use of this modality for depicting biliary, pancreatic, and fusion blood vessels simultaneously. Carbon dioxide possesses many advantages over conventional iodinated contrast agents, and it might replace more invasive diagnostic measures in the near future.

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The authors thank Professor Toshiyuki Ohkubo MD and Mr. Yasuhiro Fujiwara, Department of Radiology, Teikyo University Chiba Medical Center; Professor Katsuhiro Uchiyama MD, Sannoh Hospital Medical Center; and Doctor Kazuhiro Sato MD, Advanced Research Institute Of Gastroenterological Imaging, for their valuable suggestions. This study was partially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, a JFE Grant from the Japanese Foundation for Research and Promotion of Endoscopy, and a Teikyo University Tomoko Fujii Memorial Research Grant for young medical researchers.

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Correspondence to Maki Sugimoto.

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Sugimoto, M., Yasuda, H., Koda, K. et al. Carbon dioxide-enhanced virtual MDCT cholangiopancreatography. J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Sci 17, 601–610 (2010).

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