The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of biliary duct visualization using Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced magnetic resonance cholangiography (EOB-MRC) in patients with liver cirrhosis. Forty adult patients with liver cirrhosis (cirrhosis group) and 20 adult individuals with normal liver parenchyma (control group) underwent EOB-MRC using T1-weighted GRE imaging up to 180 min after Gd-EOB-DTPA administration. Two observers assessed the visualization of each biliary structure and the overall anatomical visualization of the biliary tree. Child-Pugh, MELD score and laboratory findings were compared. The grade of visualization for each evaluated biliary structure was statistically different in the two groups (P = 0.004 to <0.001). The overall EOB-MRC quality was rated as sufficient for anatomical visualization of the biliary tree in all individuals of the control group 20 min after Gd-EOB-DTPA application, but in only 16/40 patients (40%) of the cirrhosis group within 30 min after application. Analysis of the ROC curves revealed that the cut-off values, for non-sufficient visualization of the biliary tree 20 min after Gd-EOB-DTPA application, were MELD scores >/=11 and total serum bilirubin levels >/=30 mumol/l. Consecutively, EOB-MRC in patients with liver cirrhosis resulted in a decreased or even non-visualization of the biliary tree in a substantial percentage of patients.