Optimum imaging of chronic pancreatitis

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2020 May;45(5):1410-1419. doi: 10.1007/s00261-020-02492-9.


Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammatory process of the pancreas characterized by progressive parenchyma destruction, resulting in pain and exocrine and endocrine insufficiency. In the advanced stages the diagnosis by imaging is usually straightforward, while in the early phases of the disease there can be a paucity of findings at imaging, thus making an early diagnosis challenging. Different imaging modalities can have a role in the initial diagnosis and in the longitudinal follow-up of patients affected by chronic pancreatitis, also enabling to assess the complications of the disease. Radiography, Ultrasonography, CT and MRI can all provide morphological information, and MRI with the administration of secretin can also provide functional information. The use of an appropriate technique is fundamental for optimizing the examination to the clinical question.

Keywords: Chronic; Computed tomography; Magnetic resonance imaging; Pancreatitis; Secretin; Ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Severity of Illness Index