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Eur Radiol. 2009 Jul;19(7):1736-43. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1332-7. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Groove pancreatitis: a diagnostic challenge.

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  • 1Computed Tomography Department, Konstantopouleion Agia Olga General Hospital, Athens, Greece. chatri@mycosmos.gr


Groove pancreatitis is a distinct form of chronic pancreatitis characterized by inflammation and fibrous tissue formation, affecting the groove area between the head of the pancreas, the duodenum and the common bile duct. It is manifested on imaging by a sheet-like mass in the groove area near the minor papilla. Thickening of the duodenal wall and cystic transformation in the duodenal wall also represent common imaging features. Pathogenesis is still unclear, and clinical presentation is not specific. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrate imaging findings consistent with the disease in typical cases, but specific diagnosis is challenging in a number of patients where biopsy is required. The disease may mimic pancreatic, common bile duct or duodenal wall cancer that requires prompt and excessive surgical intervention, as opposed to groove pancreatitis where initial conservative treatment is suggested. The clinical, histopathological and radiological features on cross-sectional imaging of this entity are discussed in this review, and differential diagnostic clues are given.

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