Advanced imaging techniques for chronic pancreatitis

Anushri Parakh, Temel Tirkes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations


MRI and MRCP play an important role in the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis (CP) by imaging pancreatic parenchyma and ducts. MRI/MRCP is more widely used than computed tomography (CT) for mild to moderate CP due to its increased sensitivity for pancreatic ductal and gland changes; however, it does not detect the calcifications seen in advanced CP. Quantitative MR imaging offers potential advantages over conventional qualitative imaging, including simplicity of analysis, quantitative and population-based comparisons, and more direct interpretation of detected changes. These techniques may provide quantitative metrics for determining the presence and severity of acinar cell loss and aid in the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis. Given the fact that the parenchymal changes of CP precede the ductal involvement, there would be a significant benefit from developing MRI/MRCP-based, more robust diagnostic criteria combining ductal and parenchymal findings. Among cross-sectional imaging modalities, multi-detector CT (MDCT) has been a cornerstone for evaluating chronic pancreatitis (CP) since it is ubiquitous, assesses primary disease process, identifies complications like pseudocyst or vascular thrombosis with high sensitivity and specificity, guides therapeutic management decisions, and provides images with isotropic resolution within seconds. Conventional MDCT has certain limitations and is reserved to provide predominantly morphological (e.g., calcifications, organ size) rather than functional information. The emerging applications of radiomics and artificial intelligence are poised to extend the current capabilities of MDCT. In this review article, we will review advanced imaging techniques by MRI, MRCP, CT, and ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1438
Number of pages19
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Computerized tomography
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Extracellular volume
  • MRCP
  • MRI
  • Quantitative imaging
  • T mapping
  • Virtual unenhanced images

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology

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