Magnetic resonance imaging glossary of findings of pediatric pancreatitis and the revised Atlanta classification.
While still uncommon, the incidence of acute pancreatitis in children has been increasing over the last two decades. The Atlanta classification for acute pancreatitis, developed for adults, stratifies cases of acute pancreatitis based on imaging and clinical criteria. This classification scheme allows for standardized use of terminology to facilitate treatment and prognostication. Although US and CT should be used in critical or unstable patients, MRI is an ideal imaging modality in pediatric patients with acute pancreatitis because of its ability to characterize tissue without ionizing radiation. We review MRI examples specific to Atlanta classification terminology in pediatric patients. Chronic pancreatitis has also been increasingly diagnosed in children, and imaging plays a key role in the diagnosis and management of this insidious disease. MRI with magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography is the optimal modality for assessing the pancreas in a child with known or suspected chronic pancreatitis because it provides tissue characterization and high-contrast imaging of the pancreatic duct without the use of invasive instrumentation or ionizing radiation. We also review and demonstrate accepted MRI findings of chronic pancreatitis.
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