Chronic pancreatitis: Ultrasonic features

M. B. Alpern, M. A. Sandler, G. M. Kellman, B. L. Madrazo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A retrospective analysis of 84 ultrasound examinations (in 77 patients) was performed to assess the frequency of sonographic findings in chronic pancreatititis. The findings included: inhomogeneously increased echogenicity in 53% of these examinations, focal or diffuse enlargement in 41%, focal dense echoes in 40%, pseudocyst formation in 21%, and a hypoechoic head mass in 7%. Thirteen per cent of our patients had a normal sonogram. Several presentations of chronic pancreatititis not previously described in the sonographic literature included: pancreatic or common bile duct enlargement or pseudocyst formation with otherwise normal-appearing glands. There was no direct relationship between the presence of focal high-intensity echoes within the pancreatic parenchyma and the presence of radiographic calcification. There was no difference in the frequency of ultrasonic abnormalities between patients with and without clinical evidence of pancreatic insufficiency. These results indicate that the sonographic findings in chronic pancreatitis are significantly more varied than previous reports would indicate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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