Imaging of acute pancreatitis

Rays. 2001 Apr-Jun;26(2):135-42.


Pancreatitis is one of the most complex and clinically challenging of all abdominal disorders. It is classified according to clinical, morphologic and histologic criteria. The primary role of radiologic imaging in patients with suspected pancreatitis is to confirm or exclude the clinical diagnosis of pancreatitis. Second, if possible, the cause of the disease is established with the assessment of disease severity and detection of complications. Imaging can also provide guidance for percutaneous therapy. Sonography in acute pancreatitis is a good screening test in patients with suspected biliary pancreatitis and a mild clinical course. Contrast-enhanced CT is preferred for patients with acute pancreatitis because it can accurately diagnose and stage the disease and the necessary information for percutaneous management is provided. The diagnosis of acute pancreatitis on MRI relies on the presence of morphologic and peripancreatic changes. Pancreatic necrosis and complications of acute pancreatitis such as hemorrhage, pseudocysts or abscesses are well-examined by MRI.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography