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Diagnosis and Treatment |

Pancreatic Imaging

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Jerrold A. Van Dyke, M.D.; Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Alabama School of Medicine, 619 South 19th Street; Birmingham, AL 35233.

Birmingham, Alabama

© 1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(2):212-217. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-2-212
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Methods now available for evaluating the pancreas include computed tomography, ultrasound, angiography, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, and percutaneous fine-needle aspiration. Computed tomography is best for initial evaluation of the patient with suspected pancreatic disorders as it is technically adequate and provides detailed anatomic information. Ultrasound also provides detailed information and survey capabilities but examinations are often technically unsatisfactory. Angiography, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, and fine-needle aspiration provide important diagnostic information but are more invasive and require considerable operator skill. These techniques are secondary tests not indicated for the initial evaluation of every patient. No single test will always provide all necessary diagnostic information, and the appropriate utilization of each method requires an understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.





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