Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound in the pathology of the pancreas – a monocentric experience.

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Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound in the pathology of the pancreas – a monocentric experience.

Melania Ardelean, Roxana Sirli, Ioan Sporea, Simona Bota, Alina Martie, Alina Popescu, Bogdan Timar, Roxana Buzas, Daniel Lighezan


The aim of this study was to summarize the spectrum of pancreatic pathology assessed by contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in a single Gastroenterology Center and to emphasize its accuracy in assessing two of the most important pancreatic lesions: solid tumors and necrotic lesions in acute pancreatitis. Material and methods: Our retrospective study included 197 patients with pancreatic lesions (de novo pancreatic masses; acute, severe pancreatitis; other pathologies) evaluated by CEUS from October 2009 to May 2013, in which a reference method (contrast CT/MRI) was available. Results: A conclusive diagnosis was established according to the EFSUMB Guidelines in 87.8% of the 197 cases. In 87.3% cases there was a perfect concordance between CEUS and the reference method (contrast CT/MRI). 95 examinations were made for pancreatic solid masses: 41.1% (39) were hypoenhanced, 34.7% (33) were hyperenhanced, and 20% (19) were isoenhancing – chronic pancreatitis and autoimmune pancreatitis – while in 4.2% (4) cases CEUS was inconclusive. 60 examinations were made in severe acute pancreatitis and in 50% (30) cases pancreatic necrosis was diagnosed. 42 examinations were performed for other lesions: 64.2% (27) pancreatic pseudocysts, 11.9% (5) cystic tumors, 23.8% (10) other pathologies (abscesses, fibrosis, etc). CEUS accuracy for solid tumors was 92.9%. For necrotic lesions the accuracy was 97.4%. Conclusions: CEUS has turned to be a good method for the characterization of different pancreatic pathologies and for evaluating acute pancreatitis. CEUS was conclusive in 90% cases and it should be considered as a first line imaging method in clinical practice.