Imaging Studies of Acute Pancreatitis

In this article, we will discuss the Imaging Studies of Acute Pancreatitis. So, let’s get started.

Imaging Studies

i. Radiology: The radiological findings which may be seen on plain X-ray abdomen and X-ray chest. X-ray abdomen is also useful to rule out is other causes of acute abdominal pain such as ruptured viscus and bowel infarction.

ii. Abdominal ultrasound: It is recommended in the emergency ward as an initial diagnostic modality and is very useful in diagnosis and management of acute pancreatitis and its local complications. It is useful in detection of gallstones, helps in identification of pseudocyst and ascites. In the early stage, it may show the swollen gland with periglandular fluid collections.

Endoscopic USG is useful in identifying occult biliary disease (sledge or a small stone) or microlithiasis, is indicated in suspected pancreatitis (severe pain) in person’s over the age of 40 years.

iii. CT scan/MRI scan: CT scan shows swollen, edematous gland with obliteration of peripancreatic fat. Pseudocyst formation may also be seen. MRI has no added advantages over CT scan, to be done if CT scan cannot be done. A contrast enhanced CT scan provides valuable information or the estimation of the presence and extent of pancreatic necrosis (severity).

iv. ERCP or MRCP: ERCP is indicated in pancreatitis associated with cholangitis or jaundice. MRCP or endoscopic USG should be considered especially after repeated attacks of acute pancreatitis. In selected cases aspiration of bile for crystal analysis may confirm microlithiasis. Sphincter of Oddi manometery may be done in recurrent pancreatitis.

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