Types and frequencies of biliary tract variations associated with a major portal venous anomaly: Analysis with multi-detector row CT cholangiography

Masahiro Kitami, Kei Takase, Gen Murakami, Saiho Ko, Masahiro Tsuboi, Haruo Saito, Shuichi Higano, Yoshiyuki Nakajima, Shoki Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To retrospectively determine whether major portal venous variation was more frequently associated with biliary variants, with consideration of the types and frequencies of biliary tract variations in the right and left liver lobes. Materials and Methods: Before undergoing computed tomographic (CT) cholangiography, patients gave informed consent. The retrospective research protocol was approved, and informed consent was waived by the ethics committee. Forty-four patients aged 29-80 years who underwent multi-detector row CT cholangiography had a major portal vein variation in which the main portal vein diverged into the common trunk of the left portal vein and right anterior sectorial portal vein. One hundred fifty-eight consecutive patients aged 26-89 years who did not have this variation served as the control group. Three radiologists retrospectively evaluated the confluence pattern of the bile duct, the relationship between this pattern and the portal vein, and the major branching pattern of the portal vein. Pearson χ2 and Fisher exact tests were performed to identify significant differences between the two patient groups. Results: The classic hilar confluence pattern, where the right posterior sectorial duct connects supraportally with the right anterior sectorial duct, was less frequent in the patients with the portal vein variation than in the control subjects (32% vs 73%, P < .05). The following biliary tract variations were identified more frequently in the variation group than in the control group (P < .05): right posterior sectorial duct joining left hepatic duct with a supraportal course (34% vs 12%), right posterior sectorial duct joining right anterior sectorial duct with an infraportal course (13% vs 4%), right posterior sectorial duct following an infraportal course (23% vs 8%), and left lateral segmental ducts caudal to the umbilical portion of the portal vein (14% vs 3%). The right hepatic duct, which receives all biliary ducts from the right lobe, was significantly less frequently developed in the variation group (46% vs 79%, P < .05). In addition, retroportal bile ducts were seen in four patients with the portal vein variation (P < .05). Conclusion: Bile duct configurations in patients with portal vein variation were significantly different from those in control subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-166
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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