BMC cancer

Cholangiocarcinoma: spectrum of appearances on Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MR imaging and the effect of biliary function on signal intensity.

PMID 25655565


To describe the Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI appearances of cholangiocarcinoma, and evaluate the relative signal intensities (RSIs) changes of major abdominal organs, and investigate the effect of total bilirubin (TB) levels on the RSI. 25 patients with pathologically-proven cholangiocarcinoma underwent Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI. The visualization of the biliary system during biliary phase (BP) was observed. RSIs of the abdominal aorta (A), portal vein (V), liver (L), and spleen (S) were measured. On hepatocellular phase (HP), exophytic tumors (n =10) and infiltrative tumors (n =10) were hypointense, polypoid tumors (n = 2) were hypointense, and combined type tumors (n = 3) had mixed appearances. While patients with normal TB levels (≤22 μmol/L, n = 12) had clear visualization of the biliary tree during BP, those with elevated TB levels (>22 μmol/L, n = 13) had obscured or no visualization. In addition, patients with normal TB levels had higher RSIA, RSIV and RSIS than those with elevated TB levels on all dynamic phases (P <0.001), and lower RSIA, RSIV and RSIS on HP and BP (P <0.001). Patients with normal TB levels had higher RSIL than those with elevated TB levels on all phases (P <0.001). RSIs of major abdominal organs reflected underlying biliary function. Cholangiocarcinoma patients with elevated TB levels had delayed excretion of Gd-EOB-DTPA compared with patients with normal TB levels.