Quantitative MR evaluation of chronic pancreatitis: Extracellular volume fraction and MR relaxometry

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OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to determine if extracellular volume fraction and T1 mapping can be used to diagnose chronic pancreatitis (CP). MATERIALS AND METHODS. This HIPAA-compliant study analyzed 143 consecutive patients with and without CP who underwent MR imaging between May 2016 and February 2017. Patients were selected for the study according to inclusion and exclusion criteria that considered history and clinical and laboratory findings. Eligible patients (n = 119) were grouped as normal (n = 60) or with mild (n = 22), moderate (n = 27), or severe (n = 10) CP on the basis of MRCP findings using the Cambridge classification as the reference standard. T1 maps were acquired in unenhanced and late contrast-enhanced phases using a 3D dual flip-angle gradient-echo sequence. All patients were imaged on the same 3-T scanner using the same imaging parameters, contrast agent, and dosage. RESULTS. Mean extracellular volume fractions and T1 relaxation times were significantly different within the study groups (one-way ANOVA, p < 0.001). Using the AUC curve analysis, extracellular volume fraction of > 0.27 showed 92% sensitivity (54/59) and 77% specificity (46/60) for the diagnosis of CP (AUC = 0.90). A T1 relaxation time of > 950 ms revealed 64% sensitivity (38/59) and 88% specificity (53/60) (AUC = 0.80). Combining extracellular volume fraction and T1 mapping yielded sensitivity of 85% (50/59) and specificity of 92% (55/60) (AUC = 0.94). CONCLUSION. Extracellular volume fraction and T1 mapping may provide quantitative metrics for determining the presence and severity of acinar cell loss and aid in the diagnosis of CP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-542
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Extracellular volume fraction
  • MR relaxometry
  • Pancreatitis
  • T1 mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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