Biliary tract depiction in living potential liver donors: comparison of conventional MR, mangafodipir trisodium-enhanced excretory MR, and multi-detector row CT cholangiography--initial experience

Radiology. 2004 Mar;230(3):645-51. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2303021775.


Purpose: To compare biliary tract depiction in living potential liver donors at conventional magnetic resonance (MR), mangafodipir trisodium-enhanced excretory MR, and multi-detector row computed tomographic (CT) cholangiography.

Materials and methods: Eight living potential liver donors underwent iodipamide meglumine-enhanced CT cholangiography. Eight different potential liver donors then underwent conventional MR cholangiography and mangafodipir trisodium-enhanced excretory MR cholangiography. Two readers independently scored all first-, second-, and third-order biliary branches with a four-point scale from 0 (not seen) to 3 (excellent visualization). Interobserver agreement was calculated by using the weighted kappa statistic. Scores were compared between imaging modalities by using generalized estimating equations. Imaging findings of second-order biliary tract anatomy were compared with intraoperative findings for nine patients.

Results: Interobserver agreement for overall biliary tract visualization was good for CT, conventional MR, and excretory MR cholangiography (with weighted kappa values of 0.76, 0.66, and 0.79, respectively). The mean second-order biliary branch visualization scores for readers 1 and 2, respectively, were significantly higher at CT cholangiography (2.81 and 2.75) than at conventional MR (1.84 and 1.75, P <.001), excretory MR (2.00 and 2.06, P <.001), and combined conventional and excretory MR cholangiography (2.31 and 2.25, P <.01). At CT, conventional MR, and excretory MR cholangiography, respectively, second-order biliary branching anatomy was discernible in eight, five, and seven patients, with second-order biliary branch variants seen in three, two, and two patients. Surgical findings confirmed the pattern of second-order biliary branching seen at CT in five patients, that seen at conventional MR imaging in one patient, and that seen at excretory MR cholangiography in three patients. At surgery, one case of variant biliary anatomy was found to have been missed at CT cholangiography.

Conclusion: In living potential liver donors, CT cholangiography enables significantly better biliary tract visualization than conventional or excretory MR cholangiography either alone or in combination.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bile Ducts / pathology*
  • Cholangiography / methods*
  • Contrast Media* / pharmacokinetics
  • Edetic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Edetic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Living Donors*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / pharmacokinetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate
  • Edetic Acid
  • N,N'-bis(pyridoxal-5-phosphate)ethylenediamine-N,N'-diacetic acid