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Emerg Radiol. 2010 Jan;17(1):13-9. doi: 10.1007/s10140-009-0811-0. Epub 2009 Apr 25.

Imaging of blunt pancreatic trauma.

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Department of Radiology, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.


Blunt pancreatic trauma is an exceedingly rare but life-threatening injury with significant mortality. Computed tomography (CT) is commonly employed as the initial imaging modality in blunt trauma patients and affords a timely diagnosis of pancreatic trauma. The CT findings of pancreatic trauma can be broadly categorized as direct signs, such as a pancreatic laceration, which tend to be specific but lack sensitivity and indirect signs, such as peripancreatic fluid, which tend to be sensitive but lack specificity. In patients with equivocal CT findings or ongoing clinical suspicion of pancreatic trauma, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) may be employed for further evaluation. The integrity of the main pancreatic duct is of crucial importance, and though injury of the duct may be strongly suggested upon initial CT, MRCP provides clear delineation of the duct and any potential injuries. This article aims to review and illustrate the CT and magnetic resonance imaging findings of blunt pancreatic trauma and delineate the integration of these modalities into the appropriate imaging triage of severely injured blunt trauma patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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