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Imaging of chronic pancreatitis.

Rays 2001 April
Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by progressive, irreversible morphologic changes whose most common cause is excessive alcohol intake. Radiologic imaging plays a major role in the diagnosis, staging of disease severity, detection of complications and selection of treatment options. The sensitivity of US ranges from 60% to 70% while its specificity is higher reaching 80%-90% in the detection of abnormalities of main pancreatic duct. As for CT, its sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis, in recent studies is 74% and 85% respectively. The performance of Magnetic Resonance cholangiopancreatography was shown to be enhanced by secretin stimulation with better visualization of ductal and parenchymal changes. However, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is the most sensitive indicator of the presence and extent of the disease. Ductal abnormalities can be used to classify chronic pancreatitis.

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