Three-dimensional intraductal ultrasonography: preliminary results of a new technique for the diagnosis of diseases of the pancreatobiliary system

Endoscopy. 1997 Oct;29(8):726-31. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1004297.


Background and study aims: Intraductal ultrasonography (IDUS) is a useful method for the diagnosis of pancreatobiliary diseases, but the images obtained using the presently available ultrasonic probes are limited by their two-dimensional nature and are sometimes difficult to interpret. The possible application of three-dimensional intraductal ultrasonography (3 D-IDUS) to facilitate the diagnosis of pancreatobiliary disease was therefore studied using a newly developed system.

Patients and methods: 3 D-IDUS of the biliary system was performed on 26 patients with benign (n = 100) or malignant pancreatobiliary diseases (n = 16), via percutaneous transhepatic or peroral approaches. Three-dimensional diagnoses were made using both radial and linear images generated on the monitor of this system along with a comparison with conventional IDUS (2 D-IDUS) findings.

Results: The courses of vessels surrounding the bile duct could be easily imaged in all cases, and accurate assessment of tumor extension and the relationship with surrounding organs could be achieved for all the malignancies. In four of six cases of bile duct cancers the whole outline of the tumor could be visualized so that the tumor volumes could be measured.

Conclusions: These preliminary results of 3 D-IDUS in the pancreatobiliary system, the first to be reported in the English literature, indicate that this new system has clear advantages over the 2 D-IDUS approach for diagnostic purposes. Further technical improvements can be expected which will ensure a clinical role for 3 D-IDUS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Endosonography / instrumentation
  • Endosonography / methods*
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallstones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnostic imaging