Korean J Intern Med.  2022 Jan;37(1):27-36. 10.3904/kjim.2021.252.

Current status of the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis by ultrasonographic elastography

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fujita Health University, Toyoake, Japan
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
  • 3Department of Gastroenterology, Aichi Cancer Center Hospital, Nagoya, Japan

Abstract

Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is pathologically characterized by the loss of exocrine pancreatic parenchyma, irregular fibrosis, cellular infiltration, and ductal abnormalities. Diagnosing CP objectively is difficult because standard diagnostic criteria are insufficient. The change of parenchymal hardness is the key factor for the diagnosis and understanding of the severity of CP. The ultrasonography (US) or endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) elastography have been used to diagnose pancreatic diseases. Both strain elastography (SE) and shear wave elastography are specific diagnostic techniques for measuring tissue hardness. Most previous studies were conducted with SE. There are three methods of interpreting SE; the method of recognizing the patterns in SE distribution images in the region of interest, the method of using strain ratio to compare the hardness of adipose tissue or connective tissue with that of the lesion, and the method of evaluating the hardness distribution of a target by histogram analysis. These former two methods have been used primarily for neoplastic diseases, and histograms analysis has been used to assess hardness distribution in the evaluation of CP. Since the hardness of the pancreas increases with aging, it is necessary to consider the age in the diagnosis of pancreatic disorders using US or EUS elastography.

Keyword

Elastography; Ultrasonography; Chronic pancreatitis
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