Purpose: This retrospective study was done to correlate a quantitative assessment of the pancreatic exocrine reserve by dynamic secretin magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCPQ) with the faecal elastase-1 (FE-1) test in patients with chronic pancreatitis.
Materials and methods: Thirty-five patients with a clinical diagnosis of chronic (CP) or acute recurrent (ARP) pancreatitis were enrolled. FE-1 was indicative of the pancreatic exocrine reserve. Subsequently, the patient population was subdivided into two groups according to a clinical threshold value of 200 μg/g. All patients underwent MRCP examination during secretin administration. Duodenal filling volume was calculated on T2-weigthed rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) MRCP images obtained 10 min after secretin injection. Duodenal filling volumes were compared with FE-1 values. Scatter plots, Pearson correlation coefficient and the Mann-Whitney U test were performed.
Results: Thirty-five paired MRCPQ-FE1 data sets were analysed. MRCPQ was significantly different (p=0.007) between patients with impaired and preserved pancreatic function; median and interquartile range (IQR) were 150.7 ml (137.3-205.5 ml; n=9) and 332.4 ml (190.6-506.9 ml; n=26). Both Pearson correlation coefficient (p<0.001) and the Mann-Whitney U test (p=0.007) were significant.
Conclusions: MRCPQ significantly correlates with FE-1 values. It is possible to discriminate impaired and preserved pancreatic exocrine function using MRCPQ.