Purpose: To assess heavily T2-weighted breath-hold magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) for imaging the pancreatic duct in patients with chronic pancreatitis.
Materials and methods: Thirty-nine patients with chronic pancreatitis were examined with a breath-hold fast spin-echo (FSE) sequence employing an echo train length of 32 and with a surface coil. Results were compared with those of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
Results: MRCP showed the head, body, and tail of the pancreatic duct well in 79%, 64%, and 53% of cases, respectively. Agreement between MRCP and ERCP was 83%-92% in cases of ductal dilatation, 70%-92% in cases of ductal narrowing, and 92%-100% in cases of filling defects. Interobserver variation was low (kappa > 0.5) for most findings.
Conclusion: Breath-hold MRCP with an FSE technique depicts the pancreatic duct well in patients with chronic pancreatitis and demonstrates narrowing, dilatation, and filling defects with moderate to high accuracy.