Imaging and Screening of Cancer of the Gallbladder and Bile Ducts

Radiol Clin North Am. 2017 Nov;55(6):1211-1222. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2017.06.005.


Biliary cancers include gallbladder cancer (GBC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). GBC may appear as a mass replacing the gallbladder, thickened gallbladder wall, or polypoid lesion in the gallbladder. Gallbladder polyps with low risk of GBC (eg, 6- to 10-mm polyps without other risk factors) are screened with sonography. In general, polyps smaller than 5 mm are ignored and those larger than 10 mm require surgical consideration. Screening for CCA is less well-established. On imaging, CCA may be divided into mass-forming, periductal infiltrating, and intraductal types. This review discusses the current state of screening and diagnosis of GBC and CCA.

Keywords: CT; Cholangiocarcinoma; Gallbladder cancer; MR imaging; Sclerosing cholangitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bile Ducts / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Gallbladder / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods
  • Ultrasonography / methods