The investigators compared the efficacy of MR cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for the diagnosis of intrahepatic stones.
They published their findings in the American Journal of Roentgenology.
A total of 318 patients underwent MRCP examinations at the authors' institution during an 18-month period.
Of these, 49 patients were identified who subsequently underwent surgery or cholangioscopic stone removal with proof of intrahepatic stones.
Some 34 of these patients also underwent ERCP, and were studied.
|Sensitivity and specificity for detecting stones:|
MRCP: 97% and 93%
ERCP: 59% and 97%
| American Journal of Roentgenology |
All images were interpreted for the presence of bile duct stones. MRCP images were interpreted independently by 2 reviewers, and 1 reviewer who was unaware of the MRCP findings interpreted ERCP studies.
The sensitivity and specificity of MRCP for detecting intrahepatic stones were 97% and 93%, respectively. For ERCP, these figures were 59% and 97%, respectively.
The authors found that MRCP showed a significantly higher sensitivity than ERCP in the diagnosis of intrahepatic stones.
However, no significant difference was found between MRCP and ERCP in sensitivity or specificity for detecting calculi in the common duct or gallbladder.
Tae Kyoung Kim, of the Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, concluded on behalf of the group, "MRCP is a more effective diagnostic method than ERCP for the evaluation of intrahepatic stones."