Gallbladder abnormalities in carcinoma of pancreatic head: Findings on MR imaging

Xiao Ming Zhang, Donald G. Mitchell, Jae Ho Byun, Sachit K. Verma, Diane Bergin, Agnes Witkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Our objective is to study the gallbladder abnormalities on MR images associated with carcinoma of the pancreatic head. Methods: Thirty-six patients who had surgical resection of pancreatic head carcinoma were retrospectively analyzed regarding the appearance of the tumor and gallbladder on MR imaging performed within one month before surgery. The changes of the gallbladder wall, and the dimension of the gallbladder, cystic duct, pericholecystic region, and common bile duct (CBD) on MR imaging were noted. Results: About 92% (33/36) of patients had at least one gallbladder abnormality on MR imaging, including thickened gallbladder wall (58%), gallbladder wall striation (19%), gallbladder wall severe enhancement (44%), enlarged gallbladder (33%), gallbladder stone (19%), dilatation of cystic duct (67%), focally increased liver parenchymal enhancement adjacent to the gallbladder (19%), and pericholecystic fluid (11%). 64% of patients had dilated CBD. The diameter of the cystic duct was correlated with those of the CBD (r = 0.45, P < 0.01) and gallbladder (r = 0.56, P < 0.0001). Enlarged gallbladder, dilatation of the cystic duct, and CBD were correlated with chronic cholecystitis. Conclusion: Most patients with pancreatic head carcinoma show gallbladder abnormalities on MR imaging. Cystic duct dilatation follows CBD dilatation and is the primary cause for dilated gallbladder and chronic cholecystitis in carcinoma of pancreatic head.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Carcinoma
  • Gallbladder
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Pancreas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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