A variety of imaging techniques are available to diagnose bile duct strictures; the most effective imaging technique, however, has not been established yet. In the present study, we compared the impact of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), intraductal ultrasonography (IDUS), and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) with regard to diagnosing bile duct strictures.
We prospectively examined 33 patients with jaundice due to bile duct strictures by ERCP plus IDUS and MRCP. The objectives were to assess diagnostic quality of imaging, complete presentation of the bile duct, and differentiation of malignant from benign lesions. Surgical and histopathological correlations, which were used as the gold standard, were available in all cases since all included patients underwent laparotomy.
Diagnostic image quality for ERCP was 88% and 76% for MRCP (p > 0.05). Comparing ERCP and MRCP, complete presentation of the biliary tract was achieved in 94% and 82%, respectively (p > 0.05). ERCP and MRCP allowed correct differentiation of malignant from benign lesions in 76% and 58% (p = 0.057), respectively. By supplementing ERCP with IDUS, the accuracy of correct differentiation of malignant from benign lesions increased significantly to 88% (p = 0.0047).
Comparing ERCP with MRCP, we found adequate presentation of bile duct strictures in high imaging quality for both techniques. ERCP supplemented by IDUS gives more reliable and precise information about differentiation of malignant and benign lesions than MRCP alone without additional imaging sequences.