Wirsungocele: evaluation by MRCP and clinical significance

Sehnaz Evrimler, Jordan K. Swensson, Mazhar Soufi, Temel Tirkes, C. Max Schmidt, Fatih Akisik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Wirsungocele is a rare cystic dilatation of the main pancreatic duct seen at the terminal portion of the duct of Wirsung. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the diagnostic value of MRCP in detection of Wirsungocele and the association between the MRCP-determined size of Wirsungocele and the MRCP-clinical findings of pancreatitis. Methods: Thirty-four patients with reported ‘Wirsungocele’ were analyzed in the study. Two radiologists reviewed MRCP/S-MRCP images for the presence and diameter of Wirsungocele (WD), main pancreatic duct dilatation (MPDD), side branch ectasia (SBE), acinarization, and duodenal filling grade. Electronic medical record review included symptoms (abdominal pain), signs (recurrent acute/chronic pancreatitis), and select laboratory testing (serum amylase and lipase). Inter-reader agreement values were calculated by ICC. Pearson correlation analysis was performed to evaluate the association of WD with radiological and clinical findings. The comparison of WD on MRCP versus S-MRCP was calculated by Wilcoxon test. Mann–Whitney U test was used for two independent variable comparisons. Results: The sensitivity of MRCP for the detection of Wirsungocele calculated using the S-MRCP and ERCP as the reference method was 76.9% and 100%, respectively. There was a significant difference in the diameter of Wirsungocele measured by MRCP vs S-MRCP (p < 0.001). There was good inter-reader agreement for the detection of Wirsungocele on MRCP and measurement of WD on MRCP and S-MRCP (ICC: 0.79, 0.89, and 0.80, respectively, p < 0.001). There was a significant difference in WD between the patients with and without MPDD (p < 0.05). There was a significant positive correlation between WD and MPDD (r = 0.66, p < 0.05). WD was significantly associated with recurrent acute pancreatitis (p < 0.05). Conclusion: MRCP is a highly sensitive and non-invasive imaging tool for detection of Wirsungocele. Greater Wirsungocele diameter is associated with MPDD and recurrent acute pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAbdominal Radiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pancreatic duct
  • Pancreatitis
  • Wirsungocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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