MR imaging of the biliary system

Radiol Clin North Am. 2014 Jul;52(4):725-55. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2014.02.011. Epub 2014 Apr 14.


Although ultrasound, computed tomography, and cholescintigraphy play essential roles in the evaluation of suspected biliary abnormalities, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR cholangiopancreatography can be used to evaluate inconclusive findings and provide a comprehensive noninvasive assessment of the biliary tract and gallbladder. This article reviews standard MR and MR cholangiopancreatography techniques, clinical applications, and pitfalls. Normal biliary anatomy and variants are discussed, particularly as they pertain to preoperative planning. A spectrum of benign and malignant biliary processes is reviewed, emphasizing MR findings that aid in characterization.

Keywords: Bile ducts; Biliary; Gallbladder; MR imaging; MRCP; Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography; Magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Biliary Tract / anatomy & histology
  • Biliary Tract / pathology
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / pathology
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Magnetic Resonance
  • Contrast Media
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*


  • Contrast Media