Anatomic Variations of the Intrahepatic Bile Ducts: Analysis of Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography in 1,011 Consecutive Patients

Uysal F., Obuz F., Ucar A., Secil M., Igci E., Dicle O.

DIGESTION, vol.89, no.3, pp.194-200, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 89 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000358558
  • Journal Name: DIGESTION
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.194-200
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate the frequency of anatomic variations of the hepatic duct bifurcation using magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). Methods: A total of 1,160 consecutive patients, referred to our department for MRCP due to suspected pancreatobiliary disease or before liver transplantation, were reviewed retrospectively. A total of 149 patients with less than optimal results due to imaging limitations or secondary differentiations of bile duct anatomy were excluded from the study. The final study population was composed of 1,011 cases. Results: Of the 1,160 patients, 149 were excluded from the analysis. Typical biliary anatomy was observed in 79.4% of cases, but female potential living liver donors more frequently presented an anatomic variation. Typical anatomy was present in 75.7% of the females and 85.3% of the males (p < 0.05). Out of the remaining 1,011 patients, 208 (20.57%) were diagnosed with different levels of various anatomic variations of the intra-and extrahepatic biliary ducts. Of the 208 cases with diagnosed variations, 204 (98.07%) and 4 (1.92%) turned out to have 1 and 2 different variations, respectively. The trifurcation variant was observed in 81 cases (8.01%), while 73 subjects (7.23%) had an aberrant right biliary duct draining into the common hepatic duct. A right dorsocaudal branch draining into the left hepatic duct was present in 42 cases (4.15%). Four cases (0.4%) had 2 different variations and 8 (0.8%) had uncommon anatomic variations. Conclusions: Typical intrahepatic biliary anatomy is present in about 80% of the inhabitants of the Aegean region of Turkey, but anatomic variants seem to be more frequent in females as compared to males. Trifurcation was the most common anatomic variation in our study population. The presence of an aberrant right hepatic duct emptying into the common hepatic duct was the second most common observation amongst our findings. (C) 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel