Pancreatic transplants: secretin-stimulated MR pancreatography

Abdom Imaging. Mar-Apr 2007;32(2):207-14. doi: 10.1007/s00261-007-9178-4.


Background: Our study was aimed to evaluate the functional status of pancreatic transplants using dynamic MR pancreatography after secretin stimulation.

Methods: Thirteen asymptomatic patients previously submitted to isolated pancreas (n = 6) or combined kidney-pancreas (n = 7) transplantation, with enteric-portal pancreatic drainage, underwent MR examination at 1.5 T using a phased-array coil. After the acquisition of axial and coronal T1- and T2-weighted sequences, dynamic MR pancreatography was performed using a coronal breath-hold, thick-slab (40-60 mm), single-shot T2-weighted fast spin-echo sequence. After the intravenous administration of secretin (Secrelux, Sanochemia; 1 cU/kg body/weight), a single-slice image acquisition was repeated every 30 s up to 15 min. We estimated the calibre changes of the pancreatic ductal system and the filling of the donor's duodenum on the basis of pancreatic secretion after secretin stimulation, also evaluated by using a mean signal intensity/time histogram in a chosen region of interest including the transplanted pancreas and the connected small bowel.

Results: All patients well tolerated the examination, and no side effects were reported after secretin administration. In 12/13 cases, a significant increase (more than 1 mm) in the diameter of the mean pancreatic duct was observed after secretin stimulation; in all patients, a noticeable filling of the duodenal graft was demonstrated during dynamic MR pancreatography on both qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Conclusions: Dynamic MR imaging after secretin administration allows non-invasive evaluation of exocrine function of the pancreatic transplants and could be used to differentiate patients with graft rejection from those with normal graft function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / pathology*
  • Pancreas Transplantation* / physiology
  • Pancreatic Function Tests*
  • Secretin*


  • Secretin