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Pancreas. 2001 Oct;23(3):323-8.

Evaluation of pancreatic exocrine function by secretin-enhanced magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography.

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First Department of Medicine, University of Szeged, Faculty of Medicine, Hungary.



To assess the feasibility and usefulness of secretin-enhanced magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (S-MRCP) for evaluation of pancreatic exocrine function.


S-MRCP was performed in 20 patients with mild (n = 8) or severe (n = 12) chronic pancreatitis (according to the grade of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency indicated by the Lundh test) and in 10 volunteers without pancreatic disease. MRCP images were evaluated before and 10 minutes after the intravenous administration of 0.5 IU/kg secretin. The changes in pancreatic tissue T2 signal intensity and duodenal filling after the injection of secretin were determined by means of S-MRCP. The S-MRCP findings were then compared with those of the Lundh test.


The pancreatic T2 signal intensity showed a significant elevation after secretin administration in the volunteers and in the patients with mild or severe chronic pancreatitis. This elevation was significantly lower in patients with mild and severe chronic pancreatitis than in the volunteers (66.85+/-15.77 and 24.45+/-5.85 vs. 200.0+/-45.07, respectively). After administration of secretin. the diameter of the duodenum was significantly increased in all three groups. This duodenal filling was significantly reduced in patients with mild or severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency as compared with the volunteers (4.12+/-1.33 and 1.70+/-0.77 vs. 15.38+/-1.73, respectively). There was no significant difference in pancreatic T2 signal intensity changes or in duodenal filling in patients with mild or severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. There were significant correlations between the pancreatic T2 signal intensity changes and the duodenal filling and the results of the Lundh test (r = -0.616 and -0.78).


These results demonstrate that the administration of secretin increases the T2 signal intensity of the pancreatic tissue and the diameter of the duodenum to different extents in normal subjects and in patients with chronic pancreatitis. This suggests that S-MRCP can provide information of value in the assessment of an exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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