Hepatobiliary scintigraphy and sonography in early biliary obstruction

Radiology. 1984 Dec;153(3):793-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.153.3.6387798.


The authors examined 139 patients thought to have early, partial, or intermittent biliary obstruction, using sonography, hepatobiliary scintigraphy, and in selected cases contrast cholangiography. Of 125 patients with a well-established final diagnosis, sonography and scintigraphy disagreed in 29 (23%). Scintigraphy revealed early or low-grade obstruction in 13 patients who had no evidence of dilated ductules, while 7 patients with dilatation from prior stone passage or biliary surgery showed normal clearance. The authors conclude that in a preselected population in whom early or low-grade biliary obstruction may be present, disagreement between sonography and scintigraphy is not rare, and the absence of sonographically detectable dilatation does not exclude obstruction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / diagnosis
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cholangiography
  • Cholestasis / diagnosis
  • Cholestasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jaundice / diagnosis
  • Jaundice / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Ultrasonography*