Topic: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

I saw my gastrointestinal specialist with whom I began this journey 7 plus years ago and whom also has not had a patient other than me do well with this disease, so he is very happy to see me and upon inquiring about doing a scan to see how things are he felt an MRI gives a very good image of the bile ducts and liver, and as my blood work was good and feeling around he thought things look great and I went kayaking last week and I feel great. Is an MRI an effective look or not? I never had one of these, I am not concerned about confined spaces so It sounds a bit easier than the dreaded CAT.... thoughts?  Pat

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

Hi Pat,

I am no specialist on this topic, and I'm sure other will have more experience, but my Dad's radiologist also recommended MRI over the CT scans.  My Dad has had CT scans since he was diagnosed last April, but in preparation for the RFA a month ago, the radiologist looked at the prior CT scans and ordered new CT and MRI.  Upon comparison, he told us that the MRI actually has better imaging, and since the RFA, my Dad has had a couple of MRIs and no CTs.  I hope this is helpful - I have heard that which method depends on the location of the tumors, but as the new MRIs were ordered for follow up post procedure, I asked the radiologist and he informed me that he believes the MRIs are as good as the CTs, and unless my Dad's oncologist believes he absolutely needs CT w and w/o contrast, then the radiologist believes MRI is better (plus it doesn't have the radiation which is a bonus).

I hope this is helpful.  Oh, and my Dad's getting treated at UCLA and the radiologist is quite familiar with cc (along with other liver cancers) so we trust him and his opinions.  Just want to make sure you know I'm not relaying info from some random dude.

Julie

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

Thank you Julie this is what my GI said, I just sounded  too good , no contrast sounds great!

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

Hello Pat,

I began my regular scans with CTs.  One CT showed a questionable area of dye profusion so my doctor had me do an MRI.  Ever since, I have been getting MRIs instead of CTs.  My thoughts were that if they did an MRI after a CT for a better image, why not just do the MRIs and can the CTs altogether.  My doctor agreed and that's how we moved forward.

The CTs were always problematic for me anyway as the  IV was much larger and drinking all that crap for contrast really did me in.   Now I just get MRIs.  I still have contrast, however, the IV is much smaller, the dye is injected (not pushed via machine) and I find them easier overall.

Good luck
-Randi-

Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

My wife's oncologist told us that CTs are better than MRIs for lung imaging.

In fact, he might have said "much better". It's been a while so I don't recall how exactly he worded it.

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

Thank you Randi,  you are just reinforcing what I thought, and I learn something every day, much of it right here, Pat

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

You're welcome Pat.  i will agree that when I do get chest imaging it is a CT but I have declined contrast.

Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

Thank you Eli, I always thought so too. I am going to find out.

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

I get ct scans because I get chest, abdomen and pelvis.  It's kind of hard to do an MRI of all those areas.

Take care,

Susie

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

Pat, I think Eli is right about the CT better than MRI for lungs.  My Mom had lung cancer and post her surgery, she has been having CTs every six months.  The doctors have said CTs were the best follow up scans for lungs.

Re: Question regarding imaging of liver and bile ducts

Thanks Susie and Jz, I am going to try the MRI and see how it goes, I will let you know , Pat