Accuracy of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography for diagnosing stones in the common bile duct in patients with abnormal intraoperative cholangiograms

Am J Surg. 2013 Apr;205(4):371-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.07.033.


Background: Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a noninvasive method for diagnosing choledocholithiasis. It is said to be as accurate as the gold standard endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for detecting common bile duct (CBD) stones. A study was needed to look at the accuracy of MRCP compared with intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) for detecting stones in the CBD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of MRCP in patients with choledocholithiasis diagnosed with IOC.

Methods: This was a retrospective study looking at patients who underwent IOC. Results were compared with respective preoperative MRCP results if available.

Results: Four hundred twenty patients who underwent IOC were reviewed and met criteria for the study. Seventy patients had preoperative MRCP. Accuracy of MRCP when compared with IOC was 70%.

Conclusions: MRCP has a high rate of false normal results compared with IOC and is not as accurate as more invasive techniques. There is no need for preoperative MRCP in patients with suspected choledocholithiasis caused by stones.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cholangiography*
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Magnetic Resonance*
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic
  • Choledocholithiasis / diagnosis*
  • Choledocholithiasis / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care*
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult