Bile duct obstruction: Radiologic evaluation of level, cause, and tumor resectability
In a prospective study of 65 patients with bile duct obstruction, various radiologic modalities were compared for their capability to demonstrate the level and cause of obstruction and to indicate accurately tumor resectability. Ultrasound (US) was performed in 65 patients, computed tomography (CT) in 51, direct cholangiography (DC) in 57, and angiography in 35. The level of obstruction was correctly indicated by US in 95% of patients and by CT in 90%, and the cause was correctly indicated by US in 88%, by CT in 63%, and by DC in 89%. In predicting tumor resectability, US was correct in 71% of patients, compared with 42% for CT, 58% for DC, and 25% for angiography. US therefore appears to be the single most useful modality in the evaluation bile duct obstruction.