Background: Pancreatic blood flow is diminished in experimental models of acute and chronic pancreatitis. We attempted to develop a safe and reliable technique for its measurement in patients and to examine blood flow in patients with chronic pancreatitis and in control subjects. Method: Pancreatic blood flow was measured using the hydrogen gas clearance technique and an endoscopically placed platinum ductal electrode. Pancreatic blood flow was measured in 12 patients with chronic pancreatitis diagnosed clinically and radiographically, and in 11 control patients undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for non-pancreatic pathology. Results: Patients with chronic pancreatitis had a significantly lower pancreatic blood flow compared with control patients (51.5 versus 91.7 mL/min/100 gm, p < 0.01). With secretin stimulation pancreatic blood flow increased in two control patients, whereas this notable rise was not seen in three patients with chronic pancreatitis. Conclusions: Measurement of pancreatic blood flow with an endoscopically placed electrode is relatively safe and simple to perform. The scarring and vascular fibrosis associated histologically with chronic pancreatitis is reflected in lower pancreatic blood flow.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging