Pancreatic hyperechogenicity on endoscopic ultrasound examination

World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Apr 21;17(15):2061-2. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i15.2061.


There is an ongoing discussion on how to diagnose a hyperechogenic pancreas and what is the clinical significance of diffusely hyperechogenic pancreas. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are the more appropriate methods to diagnose pancreatic hyperechogenicity when compared with transcutaneous or endoscopic ultrasound examination. More importantly, pancreatic hyperechogenicity may not be a certain indicator of pancreatic fat infiltration. Even if it is true, we do not know the clinical significances of pancreatic fat accumulation. Some suggested that excess fat in the pancreas is associated with chronic pancreatitis. However, several histological studies on human alcoholic chronic pancreatitis did not prove the presence of fatty pancreas in such cases. Thus, except for aging, it is very rare to have truly steatotic pancreas in the absence of certain human diseases.

Keywords: Aging; Chronic pancreatitis; Endoscopic ultrasound; Fatty pancreas; Hyperechogenic pancreas.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology
  • Endosonography*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pancreas / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreas / pathology*