AJR. American journal of roentgenology vol:170 issue:6 pages:1497-500
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the usefulness of dynamic single-shot MR cholangiopancreatography in the evaluation of the morphology and contractility of the normal Vaterian sphincter complex and to assess whether i.v. injection of glucagon can improve visualization. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Sixty patients without signs of Vaterian sphincter complex dysfunction were studied. A fast single-shot MR imaging sequence was used to obtain 20 consecutive images of the Vaterian sphincter complex during successive episodes of breathholding. In patients of group A (n = 30), 10 images were obtained before and 10 after i.v. administration of a sphincter-relaxing agent (glucagon). In the patients of group B (n = 30), no glucagon was administered. The degree of visualization of the Vaterian sphincter complex was assessed. RESULTS: Overall, the morphology and contractility of the Vaterian sphincter complex was adequately assessed in 57 patients (95%). However, the number of repetitions required to obtain this result varied greatly (mean, seven; range, two to 18). Glucagon had no apparent effect on the visibility of the most distal portion of the common bile duct. CONCLUSION: Nonvisualization of the most distal portion of the common bile duct on MR cholangiopancreatography studies is a normal variant that can simulate disease. Obtaining serial breath-hold images using a single-shot technique is helpful to avoid diagnostic errors.