Mr angiography in portal hypertension: Detection of varices and imaging techniques

C. Daniel Johnson, Richard L. Ehman, Jorge Rakela, Duane M. Ilstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


This study was performed to compare time-of-flight MR angiography in detecting varices with conventional portography and endoscopy in patients with chronic liver disease and to compare MR tomographic images with pro-jection angiograms. In eight patients findings on conventional arterial portog-raphy (considered the gold standard) were compared with the MR findings. Varices were graded by size and extent on a scale of 0-3. Splenic varices were detected in all patients by MR but were scored larger on portography in 6 (55%) of 11 comparisons. All left gastric varices were identified at MR and were rated within one grade of those seen at portography. All esophageal varices were identified at MR. Among 12 patients with upper endoscopy, MR rated varices significantly (p < 0.05) larger than endoscopy in 8 (67%) of 12 comparisons. Varices were detected in two patients on MR that were not seen endoscopi- cally. Extraperitoneal varices were identified in six (75%) of eight patients on MR and were only visualized in one patient at portography. Varices were equally well detected using either axial or coronal images. No significant difference existed when tomographic images were compared with projection images. Time-of-flight MR angiography is a valid technique for noninvasive imaging of abdominal varices. Tomographic single slice images are generally as good as projection images except possibly in the demonstration of extraperitoneal varices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-584
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1991


  • Angiography
  • Hypertension portal
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Varices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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