Abdominopelvic Imaging and Special Expertise

Abdominopelvic Imaging and Special Expertise


Faculty in the abdominal imaging group work closely with oncologists and surgeons in the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center to provide optimized multidisciplinary care to patients with cancer. Our radiologists provide consultations at multidisciplinary tumor board meetings and through our centralized tumor tracking program which provides Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) and other quantitative tumor response measurements for patients in clinical trials.

PET CT Imaging - UCSF Medical
(Left) PET CT image of patient with stomach cancer, (right) CT image of liver tumor.

Abdominal and Digestive Disorders

UCSF Medical Center is recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation for treating digestive disorders. UCSF’s abdominal imaging radiologists work closely with referring physician specialists in gastroenterology and hepatology (from within and outside of UCSF) to help diagnose and manage diseases of the stomach, duodenum, gallbladder, biliary tract, pancreas, liver, small intestine and colon. Radiologists in the abdominal imaging subspecialty are instrumental in addressing conditions such as abdominal pain, viral hepatitis, liver transplantation, nutritional issues, chronic diarrhea, motility disorders, inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatic and biliary tract diseases.

CT Scan - UCSF Medical
(Left) CT Enterography, (right) CT of bowel vasculature.

Liver Disease

Experts at UCSF provide the most advanced diagnostic imaging and treatment procedures for patients with all forms of hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma and liver disease. UCSF is an international leader in liver disease treatment and is one of only four NIH-funded Liver Centers in the nation. Our expertise in treating the large chronic hepatitis population in the San Francisco Bay Area has led to worldwide recognition for both clinical innovation and research.

CT Angiogram - UCSF Medical
CT angiogram with urogram allows evaluation of complex kidney anatomy.

Liver Transplantation

UCSF is internationally recognized for its successful liver transplantation program, and particularly for its living liver donor surgery. Abdominal imaging experts in Radiology are essential for UCSF liver transplantation successes especially for "multipart pre-surgical planning" exams for liver donors. Accurate detailed anatomic evaluation is critical when one surgery will affect multiple patients such as in a live liver donation.

Liver Donor CT - UCSF Medical
(Left) Liver Donor CT cholangiogram, (right) liver donor liver volume and vein evaluation.

Liver Transplantation - UCSF Medical
Liver transplantation, Liver Donor 3-dimensional CT evaluation of blood vessels bile ducts and liver volumes.

Crohn's Disease

MR Enterography - UCSF MedicalThe evaluation of inflammatory diseases of the small bowel requires a multidisciplinary approach because the small bowel is relatively inaccessible to endoscopes. CT enterography is a successful technique that allows evaluation of all bowel segments regardless of location in the abdomen. Diseases that can be evaluated include inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, infectious enteritis, and small bowel tumors. It can also be used in patients with occult gastrointestinal bleeding to localize and determine the cause of bleeding. MR enterography, also called Magnetic resonance enterography (MRE), is a complementary advanced, accurate and noninvasive diagnostic imaging test to evaluate a broad range of gastrointestinal disorders. Since MR enterography does not use radiation, it can be especially useful in patients who are young or who may need to undergo numerous future imaging studies.


CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)

Virtual Colonoscopy - UCSF MedicalUCSF has internationally recognized expertise in CT colonography, commonly known as Virtual Colonoscopy. CT colonography is an imaging technique approved by the American Cancer Society and the leading gastrointestinal societies as an effective option for screening for colon cancer. UCSF radiologist Judy Yee, MD, leads the CT colonography field in research, and she helped define the techniques and guidelines for its practice. Author of the primary book on virtual colonoscopy, Dr. Yee has trained thousands of physicians in this technique through UCSF’s postgraduate medical education program and during numerous national society meetings.




UCSF encourages patients to be screened for colon cancer by CT colonography if they are age 50 and older or if they are at risk and medically unable or unwilling to undergo a standard colonoscopy. CT colonography takes only about half an hour and does not require sedation.

Virtual Colonoscopy is a good option for patients who:

  • Cannot be safely sedated
  • Are at high risk for a cardiac event
  • Are on anti-coagulants
  • Are frail or very elderly
  • Have multi-system disease (lung, kidney, heart)
  • Have had poor results from a previous standard colonoscopy exam (for example, due to abdominal surgery scars or a colon shape that cannot be safely studied by a standard colonoscopy)
  • Cannot tolerate a long procedure because they have arthritis or are too frail or too sick to undergo a standard colonoscopy procedure

Prostate Imaging

UCSF Abdominal Imaging performs more than 600 prostate MR imaging exams each year and performs MR-guided prostate biopsy. UCSF pioneered in the development of several prostate MRI techniques, and particularly with multiparametric and MR spectroscopic prostate imaging. Our high volume of procedures and our broad experience improves our ability to help patients and their doctors stage and treat patients with or at-risk for prostate cancer. The specialized imaging studies that we provide improve surgical and radiation treatment planning, and these imaging exams are useful for post-treatment decision-making.  Learn more

MR Imaging for Prostate Cancer - UCSF Medical
Multiparametric MR imaging of prostate cancer.

MR Guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRg-FUS)

Patients with fibroids on uterus can receive advance treatment at UCSF. The abdominal imaging physicians interpret the pre- and post-therapeutic images of the patients. Then our interventional specialty physicians perform the high intensity focused ultrasound procedures to shrink the fibroids.  Learn more