Pancreatic duct: morphologic and functional evaluation with dynamic MR pancreatography after secretin stimulation

Radiology. 1997 May;203(2):435-41. doi: 10.1148/radiology.203.2.9114101.


Purpose: To assess the utility of dynamic MR pancreatography in the evaluation of the behavior of the pancreatic duct after secretin stimulation and to estimate pancreatic exocrine reserve in patients suspected of having acute recurrent or chronic pancreatitis.

Materials and methods: Ten healthy volunteers and 13 patients suspected of having pancreatic disease and no obvious markers of chronic pancreatitis were studied. Single-shot turbo spin-echo T2-weighted dynamic MR pancreatograms were obtained before and every 30 seconds during the 10 minutes after secretin administration. Morphologic features and diameter of the pancreatic duct were monitored before and during secretin stimulation. Duodenal filling volume was graded. Results were compared with those of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and secretin stimulation testing with collection of pancreatic fluid.

Results: Secretin improved the delineation of ductal morphologic features in both groups. Persistent dilatation of the pancreatic duct after stimulation (five patients) was a significant finding (P = .0015) in the diagnosis of papillary stenosis. The mean duodenal filling score was significantly lower in patients with reduced exocrine function (six patients) than that in the volunteers (P < .0001).

Conclusion: The use of dynamic MR pancreatography with secretin stimulation may be useful for diagnosing pancreatic papillary stenosis or dysfunction and for detecting reduced pancreatic exocrine reserve.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / anatomy & histology*
  • Pancreatic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Ducts / anatomy & histology*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / physiology*
  • Secretin*


  • Secretin