MRCP versus ERCP

What is magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and how does it compare to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)? 

MRCP is a noninvasive way to evaluate the hepatobiliary tract using heavily T2-w images. MRCP can reliably demonstrate the CBD, the pancreatic duct, the cystic duct, and aberrant hepatic ducts, and can differentiate dilated from normal ducts.

MRCP exceeds the accuracy of CT and US in detecting choledocholithiasis, because CBD stones do not always exhibit acoustic shadowing. This is one reason why US is only 60% to 70% accurate in detecting CBD stones

MRCP is comparable to ERCP in detecting choledocholithiasis and extrahepatic strictures, and in diagnosing extrahepatic biliary and pancreatic duct abnormalities


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