Purpose: To determine the efficacy of arterial phase helical computed tomography (CT) for the depiction of small pancreatic arteries.
Materials and methods: Arterial phase helical CT (3-mm collimation, 1-mm reconstruction interval) was performed during power injection of 180 mL of ioversol at 5 mL/sec. Two radiologists reviewed 100 consecutive arterial phase helical CT scans of the pancreas in patients with normal glands and recorded the frequency of visualization of the major visceral (celiac, hepatic, splenic, gastroduodenal, superior mesenteric) and small pancreatic (dorsal pancreatic, right branch of the dorsal pancreatic, pancreaticomagna, caudal pancreatic, transverse pancreatic, anterior and posterior arcade, and inferior pancreaticoduodenal) arteries.
Results: Scans in 87 patients were technically satisfactory and were included in the analysis. The major visceral arteries were seen in all patients. The following secondary pancreatic arteries were seen: dorsal pancreatic, 82 (94%) patients; pancreaticomagna, 45 (52%); caudal pancreatic, 34 (39%); transverse pancreatic, 36 (41%); right branch of the dorsal pancreatic, eight (9%); anterior arcade, 47 (54%); posterior arcade, 63 (72%); and inferior pancreaticoduodenal, 73 (84%).
Conclusion: Small pancreatic arteries can be delineated on arterial phase helical CT scans by using optimized techniques.