White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

MRCP compared to diagnostic ERCP for diagnosis when biliary obstruction is suspected: a systematic review

Kaltenthaler, E.C., Chilcott, J., Blakeborough, A., Vergel, Y.B., Thomas, S. and Walters, S.J. (2006) MRCP compared to diagnostic ERCP for diagnosis when biliary obstruction is suspected: a systematic review. BMC Medical Imaging. ISSN 1471-2342

Full text available as:
Text (kaltenthalerec1.pdf)

Download (368Kb)


BACKGROUND Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is an alternative to diagnostic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for investigating biliary obstruction. The use of MRCP, a non-invasive procedure, may prevent the use of unnecessary invasive procedures. The aim of the study was to compare the findings of MRCP with those of ERCP by the computation of accuracy statistics. METHODS Thirteen electronic bibliographic databases, covering biomedical, science, health economics and grey literature were searched. A systematic review of studies comparing MRCP to diagnostic ERCP in patients with suspected biliary obstruction was conducted. Sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, acceptability and adverse events were reported. RESULTS 25 studies were identified reporting several conditions including choledocholithiasis (18 studies), malignancy (four studies), obstruction (three studies), stricture (two studies) and dilatation (five studies). Three of the 18 studies reporting choledocholithiasis were excluded from the analysis due to lack of data, or differences in study design. The sensitivity for the 15 studies of choledocholithiasis ranged from 0.50 to 1.00 while specificity ranged from 0.83 to 1.00. The positive likelihood ratio ranged: from 5.44–47.72 and the negative likelihood ratio for the 15 studies ranged from 0.00–0.51. Significant heterogeneity was found across the 15 studies so the sensitivities and specificities were summarised by a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve. For malignancy, sensitivity ranged from 0.81 to 0.94 and specificity from 0.92 to 1.00. Positive likelihood ratios ranged from 10.12 to 43 and negative likelihood ratios ranged from 0.15 to 0.21, although these estimates were less reliable. CONCLUSION MRCP is a comparable diagnostic investigation in comparison to ERCP for diagnosing biliary obstruction.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2006 Kaltenthaler et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (York)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2015 07:26
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2342-6-9
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1919

Actions (repository staff only: login required)