Definition of age-dependent reference values for the diameter of the common bile duct and pancreatic duct on MRCP: A population-based, cross-sectional cohort study

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Georg Beyer - , Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) (Autor:in)
  • Florian Kasprowicz - , Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Autor:in)
  • Anke Hannemann - , Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK) (Autor:in)
  • Ali Aghdassi - , Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Autor:in)
  • Patrick Thamm - , Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Autor:in)
  • Henry Volzke - , Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK), Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Autor:in)
  • Markus M. Lerch - , Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) (Autor:in)
  • Jens Peter Kühn - , Institut und Poliklinik für diagnostische und interventionelle Radiologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Autor:in)
  • Julia Mayerle - , Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Autor:in)


Objective Changes of the pancreaticobiliary ducts herald disease. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) allows accurate duct visualisation. Data on reliable upper reference ranges are missing. Design Cross-sectional whole body MRI data from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania were analysed. The width of the common bile duct (CBD) and the pancreatic duct (PD) was determined. We aimed to describe the distribution of physiological duct diameters on MRCP in a population of healthy subjects and to identify factors influencing duct size. Results After excluding pre-existing pancreaticobiliary conditions, CBD and PD diameters from 938 and 774 healthy individuals, respectively, showed a significant increase with age (p<0.0001) and exceeded the conventional upper reference limit of normal in 10.9% and 18.2%, respectively. Age-dependent upper reference limits of duct diameters were delineated with non-parametric quantile regression, defined as 95th percentile: for CBD up to 8 mm in subjects <65 years and up to 11 mm in subjects ≥65 years. For the PD reference diameters were up to 3 mm in subjects <65 years and up to 4 mm in subjects ≥65 years. Conclusions This is the first population-based study delineating age-adjusted upper reference limits of CBD and PD on MRCP. We showed that up to 18.2% of healthy volunteers would have needed diagnostic workup, if the conventional reference values were used. The utilisation of the adapted reference levels may help to avoid unnecessary investigations and thus to reduce healthcare expenditure and test-related adverse events.


Seiten (von - bis)1738-1744
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Sept. 2023

Externe IDs

PubMed 36828626


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung

ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, cholangiocarcinoma, diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, epidemiology, pancreatic cancer, Cross-Sectional Studies, Humans, Reference Values, Pancreatic Ducts/diagnostic imaging, Common Bile Duct/pathology, Aged, Cholangiopancreatography, Magnetic Resonance, Cohort Studies