Author(s): Naik KS, Ward J, Irving HC, Robinson PJ
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to compare dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCEMR) with Doppler ultrasound (US) in the assessment of portal venous anatomy and to analyse the causes of discrepancy. Over a 1 year period, 97 patients undergoing assessment prior to hepatic surgery underwent imaging of the liver and portal venous system using US with colour and spectral Doppler and MRI with axial T2 weighted spin echo (SE) and coronal oblique T1 weighted rapid gradient echo (GRE) imaging before and immediately after bolus injection of Gd-DTPA (0.1 mmol kg-1). When the US and MRI findings were discrepant, the images were reviewed by two observers and compared with surgical findings. US and DCEMR were concordant in 90 patients (portal vein patent in 80, occluded in 10). In three patients with cirrhosis and gross ascites the portal vein was reported as occluded on US and patent on MRI; surgery confirmed the MRI findings. In one patient the portal vein was patient on US but not on MRI, but there was a 3 week interval between the examinations. In three patients the portal vein was patent on US, but MRI detected occlusion of intrahepatic portal vein branches in two, and encasement of an intrahepatic branch in the third case. Spontaneous splenorenal shunts were seen in 15 patients only on MRI; varices were seen in 39 patients on MRI and in 22 patients on US. Both US and DCEMR contribute to the pre-operative assessment of the portal venous system. MRI provides additional information over US in assessing intrahepatic portal branches and detecting varices and splenorenal shunts, and is recommended for all surgical candidates and in patients with abnormal portal venous anatomy and equivocal US findings.
This article was published in Br J Radiol
and referenced in Pancreatic Disorders & Therapy