Cholangitis other diagnostic studies

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cholangitis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Cholangitis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Study of Choice

Diagnostic Criteria

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings


X Ray




Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Cholangitis other diagnostic studies On the Web

Most recent articles

cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Cholangitis other diagnostic studies

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Cholangitis other diagnostic studies

CDC on Cholangitis other diagnostic studies

Cholangitis other diagnostic studies in the news

Blogs on Cholangitis other diagnostic studies

Directions to Hospitals Treating Cholangitis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Cholangitis other diagnostic studies

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Amandeep Singh M.D.[2]


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is considered a gold standard test for diagnosing biliary obstruction. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTCA) are the most sensitive techniques to correctly determine the underlying cause and level of biliary obstruction in patients with acute cholangitis when ERCP fails.

Other Diagnostic Findings

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

ERCP is the preferred imaging method for diagnosing biliary obstruction as it is both diagnostic and therapeutic. ERCP involves the use of endoscopy to pass a small cannula into the bile duct. Radiocontrast is then injected to opacify the duct, and x-rays are taken to get a visual impression of the biliary system. Findings on an ERCP suggestive of/diagnostic of acute cholangitis include:

Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTCA)

In case the ERCP is unsuccessful, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTCA) can be used to allow access to the biliary tree.[2][3]

  • The PTCA procedure involves inserting a needle through the skin and placing a thin tube into a duct in the liver.
  • Dye is injected through the tube and x-rays are then taken.

For diagnostic purposes, ERCP has now generally been replaced by MRCP. ERCP is only used first-line in critically ill patients in whom delay for diagnostic tests is not acceptable.

  • If the index of suspicion for cholangitis is high, an ERCP is typically done to achieve drainage of the obstructed common bile duct.[1]

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)

  • Useful in patients with postcholecystectomy and in patients with non-conclusive ERCP.[4]
    • This safe and painless test is increasingly used for diagnosis.
  • The only disadvantage is that smaller stones can be missed on a MRCP.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kinney TP (2007). "Management of ascending cholangitis". Gastrointest. Endosc. Clin. N. Am. 17 (2): 289–306, vi. doi:10.1016/j.giec.2007.03.006. PMID 17556149.
  2. ATKINSON M, HAPPEY MG, SMIDDY FG (1960). "Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography". Gut. 1: 357–65. PMC 1413224. PMID 13684978.
  3. "Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis". Retrieved April 20 2016. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. Gallix BP, Aufort S, Pierredon MA, Garibaldi F, Bruel JM (2006). "[Acute cholangitis: imaging diagnosis and management]". J Radiol (in French). 87 (4 Pt 2): 430–40. PMID 16691174.

Template:WikiDoc Sources