Bile duct dilatation can be due to several aetiologies.
Variable, depending on underlying cause, but usually:
right upper quadrant pain
Harmonic imaging is useful when assessing the biliary system, as it improves the clarity ...
Thickening of the bile duct wall can stem from a variety of aetiologies.
bile duct wall thickening
bile duct walls are typically not visible when normal
possible narrowing of the ducts with obstruction
possible secondary signs of cholangitis, including debr...
Bulging duodenal papilla is a conical or cylindrical protuberance at the medial aspect of the descending or horizontal duodenum at the site of the sphincter of Oddi. It is a finding on small bowel follow-though (and endoscopy) and has a relatively long differential. On cross-sectional imaging, ...
Cholangitis is a relatively broad descriptive term referring to inflammation of the bile ducts.
It has many forms and can arise from a number of situations:
primary sclerosing cholangitis
chemotherapy induced cholangitis
eosinophilic cholangitis 5
Congestive hepatopathy includes a spectrum of hepatic derangements that can occur in the setting of right-sided heart failure (and its underlying causes). If there is subsequent hepatic fibrosis the term cardiac cirrhosis may be used. The condition can rarely occur as a result of non-cardiac cau...
Cystic hepatic metastases are included in the differential for new cystic liver lesions. The internal cystic component may represent necrosis as the tumour outgrows its hepatic blood supply, or it may represent a mucinous component, similar to the primary tumour.
The liver and lungs are the mos...
Cystic lesions of liver carry a broad differential diagnosis. These include:
simple hepatic cyst
adult polycystic liver disease
ciliated hepatic foregut duplication cyst 6
infectious: inflammatory conditions
pyogenic hepatic ...
The differential for cystic lesions of the pancreas includes:
intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN)
serous cystadenoma uncommonly uni/macrolocular
simple pancreatic cyst
pancreatic cysts occur in association with
von Hippel Lindau syndrome
Diffuse thickening of the gallbladder wall can occur in a number of situations:
gallbladder empyema 7
xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis 11
postprandial physiological state (pseudothickening)
Exophytic hepatic mass or tumour is a lesion which predominantly lies outside the margins of liver but originates from within the liver.
Causes include 1:
focal nodular hyperplasia
A variety of benign and malignant liver lesions may contain macroscopic and/or intracytoplasmic fat in sufficient quantities enabling characterisation on imaging studies. Most fat containing liver lesions (80%) in patients with cirrhosis are malignant, most of which are hepatocellular carcinoma ...
Fetal intrahepatic calcification can be a relatively common finding. Calcifications in the liver can be single or multiple and in most cases in which isolated hepatic calcific deposits are detected, there is usually no underlying abnormality.
The presence of isolated intrahepatic calcification ...
Fibropolycystic liver disease is a collective term for a group of congenital liver and biliary abnormalities resulting from abnormal development of the ductal plates. Disease in this group include:
congenital hepatic fibrosis
autosomal dominant polycystic disease
Focal gallbladder wall thickening is an imaging finding that includes both benign and malignant aetiologies.
gallbladder carcinoma: look for infiltration into adjacent organs, metastases, lymphadenopathy, bile duct di...
Focal gas collection in right upper quadrant on plain radiographs can occur from a number of pathologies. Things to consider are:
enterobiliary fistula: common types include cholecystoduodenal fistula and cholecystocolic fistula. It may occur with:
gallstone ileus (being most common) 3
Focal hypodense hepatic lesions on a non-contrast CT scan can result from a number of pathological entities, including:
biliary hamartoma: von Meyenberg complexes 2
hepatoma/hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
Gallbladder ghost triad is a term used on ultrasound studies when there is a combination of three gallbladder features on biliary atresia:
atretic gallbladder, length less than 19 mm
irregular or lobular contour
lack of smooth/complete echogenic mucosal lining with an indistinct wall
Causes of generalised increased liver echogenicity include:
diffuse fatty infiltration
cirrhosis: can be coarsened as well
chronic hepatitis 3: can be coarsened as well
diffuse infiltration or deposition
Causes of generalised reduction of liver echogenicity on ultrasound include:
diffuse malignant infiltration
generalised increase in liver echogenicity
hepatic attenuation on CT
Haemobilia refers to the presence of blood in the biliary tree.
The classical clinical triad, only seen in ~50% of cases, consists of:
melaena (i.e. upper gastrointestinal bleeding)
iatrogenic: surgical or percutaneous pro...
Hepatic attenuation on CT, reflected by Hounsfield values, depends on a combination of factors including the presence or absence, as well as the phase, of IV contrast administration.
Allowing for all these factors, the mean unenhanced attenuation value is around 55 HU 4.
Hepatic vascular and perfusion disorders are a broad group of conditions that radiologists should be familiar with, as some of them are quite frequently seen in the daily practice. The aim of this article is to be a collection of articles that represent the core knowledge in the matter.
Hepatolithiasis is the presence of bile duct stones within the intrahepatic bile ducts, specifically before the confluence of the right and left hepatic ducts.
Hepatolithiasis is common Asia and the Pacific, with a prevalence of ~40%. It is rare in the West with a prevalence of ~...
Hepatosplenomegaly is simply the simultaneous presence of a pathologically-enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) and spleen (splenomegaly).
Many, many infections can produce a mild concurrent enlargement of the liver and spleen. This list is by no means exhaustive!
Hypertrophy of the caudate lobe is seen in a number of conditions, including:
cirrhosis: most common
primary sclerosing cholangitis (end stage)
congenital hepatic fibrosis
cavernous transformation of the portal vein
The caudate-right lobe ratio m...
Hypervascular liver lesions may be caused by primary liver pathology or metastatic disease.
hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
most common hypervascular primary liver malignancy
early arterial phase enhancement and then rapid wash out
rim enhancement of c...
Intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct (IPNB) is a pre-invasive biliary tree neoplasm considered to be a precursor of cholangiocarcinoma.
Biliary papillary adenoma and non-invasive papillary carcinoma of the biliary tract were terms used to refer to localised low-grade an...
Intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasms of the bile ducts are rare intraluminal mass forming pre-invasive biliary neoplasms with no mucin production.
ITPNs of the bile ducts are rare tumours of unknown incidence, found more frequently in women at their 60s 1,2.
Intrahepatic arteriovenous shunts, also referred to as intrahepatic arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) or hepatic arteriosystemic venous shunts, represent a spectrum of abnormal communications between the hepatic arterial system and the hepatic veins.
Please note that arterioportal shunts, whi...
Paediatric malignant liver tumours are rare, some of which occur only in children but that are similar to those that occur in adults.
Malignant liver tumours account for ~1% of paediatric malignancies 2.
Broadly, any malignant liver mass can be defined as a metastasis ...
Mass-forming intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (MF-ICC), also referred as peripheral cholangiocarcinomas, compromise one of the three recognised growth patterns of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas.
On imaging, these tumours usually present as large and relatively well-defined hepatic masses wit...
Medical devices in the abdomen and pelvis are important to be recognised, just like medical devices of the chest. Often we ignore these devices, considering them to be incidental and non-pathological, however it is essential to be aware of potential complications.
Mucinous cystic neoplasms of the gallbladder are extremely rare epithelial cystic tumours formed by mucin-producing cells. They are histologically similar to the other mucinous cystic tumours found elsewhere in the body.
For the lesions involving the bile ducts, please refer to:
Non-neoplastic solid lesions of the pancreas are conditions which may mimic pancreatic neoplasms on imaging. They include:
intrapancreatic accessory spleen
peripancreatic lymph node
Pancreatic atrophy is non-specific and is common in elderly patients, although in younger patients it can be a hallmark of pathology. Most commonly it is associated with ageing, obesity and end-stage chronic pancreatitis.
It occurs principally with fatty replacement of the pancreas (pancreatic...
Pancreatic calcifications can arise from many aetiologies.
Punctate intraductal calcifications
alcoholic pancreatitis (20-40%) 2
intraductal, numerous, small, irregular
preponderant cause of diffuse pancreatic intraductal calcification
gallstone pancreatitis (2%) 2
There are numerous primary pancreatic neoplasms, in part due to the mixed endocrine and exocrine components.
Classification based on function
exocrine: ~99% of all primary pancreatic neoplasms
pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma ~90-95%
intraductal papillary muc...
Pancreatitis (plural: pancreatitides) refers to inflammation involving the pancreas.
It has various forms which can be classified in many many ways according to time of onset, aetiological agent or associated pathology.
interstitial oedematous pancreatitis
Periampullary tumours are those that arise within 2 cm of the ampulla of Vater in the duodenum.
Tumours that fall under this group include four main types of tumours 1,4 that will be approached in their specific articles:
pancreatic head/uncinate process tumours: includes pancreatic ductal ade...
Periportal hyperechogenicity can result from many causes including:
schistosomiasis of the portal region
recurrent pyogenic cholangitis (oriental)
inflammatory bowel disease: has been described to give "echo-rich" periportal cuffing 2
Periportal hypoechogenicity can result from many causes:
orthotopic liver transplant rejection
malignant lymphatic obstruction
Pseudocirrhosis is a radiological term used to recapitulate imaging findings of cirrhosis, but occurring in the setting of hepatic metastases. It is most commonly reported following chemotherapeutic treatment of breast cancer metastases, although has also been reported before treatment, and with...
There are several pulmonary complications that can arise in the setting of cirrhosis:
hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS): considered the commonest
portopulmonary hypertension (POPH)
hepatic hydrothorax (HH)
intrathoracic portosystemic collateral vessel formation
The development of portal hypert...
Retained gallstones, also called dropped or slipped gallstones, are common during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, with a reported incidence of 0.1–20%, and occur when gallstones are inadvertently spilt into the peritoneal cavity.
Many cases of dropped gallstones will be a...
There are three forms of sclerosing cholangitis:
primary sclerosing cholangitis
IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis
secondary sclerosing cholangitis
Splenic abscesses, like abscesses elsewhere, are localised collections of necrotic inflammatory tissue caused by bacterial, parasitic or fungal agents. They uncommonly affect the spleen due to its efficient reticuloendothelial system phagocytic activity and, consequently, are more likely seen in...
Splenic calcifications can occur is various shapes and forms and can occur from a myriad of aetiological factors.
The usual calcification observed in radiographs are the multiple, miliary form presenting numerous small rounded densities averaging from three to five millimetres in diameter where...
Splenic epithelial cysts, also referred as splenic epidermoid cysts or primary splenic cysts, are unilocular fluid lesions with thin and smooth walls and no enhancement. They represent ~20% of cysts found in the spleen, and are usually an innocuous incidental imaging finding.
Note that most (~8...
Splenomegaly refers to enlargement of the spleen. The upper limit of normal adult splenic length is traditionally cited at 12 cm, but lengths upwards of 14 cm can be seen in normal, taller males 7.
Massive splenomegaly is variably defined, including when the spleen is 5 standard deviations abov...
Third inflow refers to anatomical variants leading to an additional venous inflow to the liver apart from the usual dual blood supply (portal vein and hepatic artery). They tend to be associated with parenchymal pseudolesions (focal hyperenhancement on post-contrast imaging, focal fat infiltrati...
Transient hepatic attenuation differences (THAD) lesions refer to areas of parenchymal enhancement visible during the hepatic artery phase on helical CT. They are thought to be a physiological phenomenon caused by the dual hepatic blood supply. Occasionally they may be associated with hepatic tu...
Ultrasound appearance of liver metastases can have bewildering variation, and the presence of hepatic steatosis can affect the sonographic appearance of liver lesions.
Patterns do exist between ultrasound appearance of the liver metastases and the likely prima...