MRI and S-MRCP findings in patients with suspected chronic pancreatitis: correlation with endoscopic pancreatic function testing (ePFT)

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Mar;31(3):601-6. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22085.


Purpose: To review magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and secretin stimulated magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (S-MRCP) findings of patients with suspected chronic pancreatitis and compare them with endoscopic pancreatic function testing (ePFT).

Materials and methods: MRI and S-MRCP findings of 36 patients with clinically suspected chronic pancreatitis were reviewed. Baseline ductal changes, duodenal filling grades, and pancreatic duct caliber change (PDC) on S-MRCP, mean values of pancreatic anteroposterior (AP) diameter, signal intensity ratio (SIR) between pancreas and the spleen on T1-weighted fat saturated images, and arterial to venous (A/V) enhancement ratios were compared between groups of normal and abnormal pancreatic exocrine function determined by ePFT.

Results: All patients (n = 24) with normal ePFT (HCO(3) >80 mEq/L) had grade 3 normal duodenal filling. Patients with abnormal ePFT (HCO(3) <80 mEq/L) (n = 12) had grade 1 (n = 1) and grade 2 (n = 11) diminished duodenal filling (P < 0.0001). PDC was 1.51 in the normal ePFT group versus 1.27 in the abnormal ePFT group (P = 0.01). No significant differences were found in terms of mean pancreatic AP diameter (21.8 vs. 19.8 cm), SIR (1.59 vs. 1.44), and A/V (1.08 vs. 1.01) between groups of normal/abnormal pancreatic exocrine function.

Conclusion: Despite discrepancies between pancreatic exocrine function and the findings on standard MRI/MRCP, the S-MRCP findings are comparable to ePFT in the evaluation of chronic pancreatitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Secretin*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Secretin