[Endoscopic ultrasound in chronic pancreatitis]

Z Gastroenterol. 2005 Aug;43(8):737-49. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-858258.
[Article in German]


Endoscopic ultrasound has continuously gained importance and has proven to be of clinical value in patients with chronic pancreatitis. In addition, the much lower complication rate when compared to ERCP has to be recognised. Some authors have indicated that endoscopic ultrasound in the evaluation of chronic pancreatitis is the imaging method of choice, depending on both ductal and parenchymal criteria, but there are still some limitations. The two major limitations of EUS preventing it being the "gold standard" in patients with chronic pancreatitis are the lack of standard criteria to be used, and adequate education. Endoscopic ultrasound is difficult to learn and therefore teaching has to be standardised. A general acceptance of the staging of chronic pancreatitis using a catalogue based on criteria compatible to the Cambridge classification is required. Difficulties in evaluating parenchymal criteria with the exception of "indicative" calcifications, depend on the differentiation of the normal ageing process from sequelae of acute pancreatic, ethyl-toxic fibrosis and early stages of chronic pancreatitis. In addition, the differentiation of hypoechoic and cystic lesions as inflammatory changes or neoplastic tumours is still difficult; complementary imaging methods also have low sensitivity in this area. In conclusion, there is no doubt that endoscopic ultrasound has proven to be of value using an interdisciplinary approach in the evaluation and therapy of pseudocysts, peripancreatic necrosis, and pancreatic and bile duct obstruction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endosonography*
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Pseudocyst / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatitis / classification
  • Pancreatitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity