Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography: Deciphering the Black and White.

Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology
Sowmya MahalingamMahan Mathur

Abstract

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) remains the conventional method of imaging the pancreatic and biliary tree and is performed by direct injection of iodinated contrast material via the major papilla. This diagnostic procedure gained popularity in the 1970s and subsequently paved way for ERCP guided interventions such as sphincterotomy, stone retrieval and stent placement. Currently, therapeutic ERCP is more widespread than diagnostic ERCP primarily due to the availability of noninvasive imaging. Nevertheless, more than half a million ERCPs are performed annually in the United States and radiologists need to be comfortable interpreting them. The following review will familiarize the reader with the imaging appearances of biliary and pancreatic disorders on conventional ERCP, and elaborate on therapeutic ERCP with illustrative examples.

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