Assessment of MRI and MRCP in diagnosis of biliary cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma

Eur Radiol. 2006 Feb;16(2):407-13. doi: 10.1007/s00330-005-2822-x. Epub 2005 Jun 28.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance cholangio-pancreatography (MRCP) features were analyzed in the diagnosis of seven surgically resected hepatobiliary cystic tumors with reference to histopathological data. Homogeneity, size, location, signal intensity, presence or absence of septa and/or nodules and MRCP features of the lesions were studied. Histological evidence demonstrated six biliary cystadenoma (BCA) including four pseudo-ovarian stroma (POS) and one biliary cystadenocarcinoma (BCAC). Cystic lesions (3-15 cm in diameter) were homogeneous in the six BCA, heterogeneous in the one BCAC, and were located in the left and right liver, respectively. On T2-weighted images all lesions were hyperintense. On T1-weighted images hypointensity was found in three BCA (all serous fluid, including one POS), isointensity was found in the three others (two mucinous and one hemorrhagic fluid, including three POS) and in the one BCAC (containing mucinous fluid). Septas were present in all cases and nodules only in the one BCAC. On MRCP a hyperintense cystic lesion was found in all cases and a bile ducts dilatation in two BCA and the one BCAC. Gadolinium-enhanced MRI in combination with MRCP is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of BCA or BCAC. However, no specific information is gained for POS detection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic* / pathology
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Magnetic Resonance / methods*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Cystadenoma / diagnosis*
  • Cystadenoma / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity