Emergency Radiology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 7–11 | Cite as

Diffusion-weighted imaging of the pericholecystic hepatic parenchyma for distinguishing acute and chronic cholecystitis

  • Avneesh GuptaEmail author
  • Christina A. LeBedis
  • Jennifer Uyeda
  • Mohammed M. Qureshi
  • Stephan W. Anderson
  • Jorge A. Soto
Original Article



The purpose of this study is to measure the performance of restricted diffusion of the pericholecystic hepatic parenchyma for distinguishing between acute and chronic cholecystitis.


The institutional review board approved this HIPAA-compliant retrospective study. Two hundred sixty-six patients presenting with acute right upper quadrant pain between 10/3/2010 and 11/28/2012 undergoing MR within 48 h of equivocal utility of ultrasound (US) were included. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequences (b = 0, 600 s/mm2, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps) were reviewed and graded in a blinded fashion by two abdominal fellowship-trained radiologists for the presence of restricted diffusion in the pericholecystic hepatic parenchyma and the gallbladder wall. Sensitivity, specificity, and inter-observer agreement for individual imaging signs were calculated using surgical pathology as the reference standard for acute cholecystitis.


Of the 266 patients, 113 were treated conservatively and 153 underwent cholecystectomy. Restricted diffusion of the pericholecystic hepatic parenchyma showed low sensitivity (reviewer 1, 40%; reviewer 2, 30%) and moderately high specificity (reviewer 1, 84%; reviewer 2, 75%) for distinguishing acute and chronic cholecystitis. Restricted diffusion in the gallbladder wall showed low sensitivity (reviewer 1, 30%; reviewer 2, 7%) and high specificity (reviewer 1, 93%; reviewer 2, 97%) for distinguishing acute and chronic cholecystitis.


Diffusion-weighted imaging of the pericholecystic hepatic parenchyma shows moderately high specificity for distinguishing between acute and chronic cholecystitis.


Cholecystitis Gallbladder Magnetic resonance imaging Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

IRB statement

The institutional review board approved this HIPAA-compliant retrospective study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Society of Emergency Radiology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyBoston University Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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