Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography

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Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
MRCP Choledocholithiasis.jpg
MRCP image showing stones in the distal common bile duct: (a) Gallbladder with stones, (b) Stones in bile duct, (c) Pancreatic duct, (d) Duodenum.
OPS-301 code3-843

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a medical imaging technique that uses magnetic resonance imaging to visualize the biliary and pancreatic ducts in a non-invasive manner.[1] This procedure can be used to determine if gallstones are lodged in any of the ducts surrounding the gallbladder.

It was introduced in 1991.[2]


MRCP makes use of heavily T2-weighted MRI pulse sequences.[3] These sequences show high signal in static or slow moving fluids within the gallbladder, biliary ducts and pancreatic duct, with low signal of surrounding tissue.

Comparison to other techniques[edit]

In the diagnosis of pancreatic disorders, MRCP is a much less invasive investigation when compared to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Although both techniques can image the ductal system in detail, MRCP also allows imaging of the surrounding parenchyma. In a study from 2008, 269 patients undergoing both ERCP and MRCP showed comparable results between the two techniques.[4]

Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ Prasad, SR; D. Sahani; S. Saini (November 2001). "Clinical applications of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography". Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 33 (5): 362–6. doi:10.1097/00004836-200111000-00004. PMID 11606850.
  2. ^ Albert L. Baert (13 February 2008). Encyclopedia of Diagnostic Imaging. Springer. pp. 123–. ISBN 978-3-540-35278-5. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  3. ^ Griffin, Nyree; Charles-Edwards, Geoff; Grant, Lee Alexander (2011-09-28). "Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography: the ABC of MRCP". Insights into Imaging. 3 (1): 11–21. doi:10.1007/s13244-011-0129-9. ISSN 1869-4101. PMC 3292642. PMID 22695995.
  4. ^ Hekimoglu K, Ustundag Y, Dusak A, et al. (August 2008). "MRCP vs. ERCP in the evaluation of biliary pathologies: review of current literature". Journal of Digestive Diseases. 9 (3): 162–9. doi:10.1111/j.1751-2980.2008.00339.x. PMID 18956595.