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Chronic pancreatitis: ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging features.

Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive, irreversible inflammatory and fibrosing disease of the pancreas with clinical manifestations of chronic abdominal pain, weight loss, and permanent pancreatic exocrine and endocrine insufficiency. In the United States, a long history of heavy alcohol consumption is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis. This review discusses the different modalities such as computed tomography, transabdominal and endoscopic ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography available to image chronic pancreatitis, along with their advantages and limitations. In addition, topics such as groove pancreatitis and autoimmune pancreatitis are examined, along with a discussion of distinguishing chronic pancreatitis from pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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