J Korean Radiol Soc.  2008 Sep;59(3):163-171. 10.3348/jkrs.2008.59.3.163.

Localized Intrahepatic Bile Duct Dilatation without a Visible Mass or Stone as depicted on CT Images: Findings of Malignancy Prediction

  • 1Department of Radiology, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Korea. na24395@yahoo.co.kr
  • 2Department of Radiology, Kumi Cha Medical Center, College of Medicine, Pochon CHA University, Korea.


This study was performed to evaluate factors that can predict the presence of a malignancy for localized intrahepatic bile duct dilatation without a visible mass or stone as depicted on CT images.
A total of 29 patients (male: 16, female: 13) who had localized intrahepatic bile duct dilatation without a visible mass, stone or injury as depicted on CT images were included in the study. A history of extrahepatic malignancy and biliary stone disease, tumor marker levels, CT findings of the intrahepatic bile duct and associated findings were reviewed. The findings were analyzed between two groups (patients with a malignancy and patients with benign disease) on follow-up.
In 29 patients, 11 patients had malignant lesions (four metastases and seven cholangiocarcinomas). The history of an extrahepatic malignancy and the shape of an intrahepatic duct obstruction or stenosis as seen on CT were significantly correlated with the results between the benign and malignant group of patients. The follow-up results of the malignant group of patients indicated that for six patients who had developed a new mass, one patient each showed aggravation of ductal dilatation and thickening of the ductal wall.
When a patient with localized intrahepatic bile duct dilatation without a definite cause has a history of an extrahepatic malignancy or shows abrupt tapering or irregular narrowing on CT images, short-term follow-up should be performed. The patient should be investigated carefully for mass formation or a change of the dilated bile duct due to a possibility of malignant ductal dilatation.


Bile ducts, intrahepatic; Dilatation, pathologic; Tomography, X- Ray Computed; Neoplasm metastasis

MeSH Terms

Bile Ducts
Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic
Constriction, Pathologic
Dilatation, Pathologic
Follow-Up Studies
Neoplasm Metastasis
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