What is the role of abdominal radiography in the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019
  • Author: Jason L Huffman, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Pancreatic calcifications, often considered pathognomonic of chronic pancreatitis, are observed in approximately 30% of cases. Paired anteroposterior (AP) and oblique views are preferred because the vertebral column otherwise could obscure small flecks of calcium. The calcifications form within the ductal system—initially in the head, and later in the body and tail, of the gland. Calcium deposition is most common with alcoholic pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis, and tropical pancreatitis; however, it is rare in idiopathic pancreatitis.


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