Pancreatic ultrasound is usually included in the general set of studies. As a rule, this also involves the diagnosis of other organs of the hepatobiliary zone (ultrasound of the liver and gallbladder, etc.).
When may a pancreatic ultrasound be needed?
- if a person has signs of a certain lesion;
- in the presence of laboratory data that indicate violations in the area of this organ;
- with manifestations of acute or chronic pancreatitis;
- to clarify the nature of the tumor detected by other methods;
- to identify the effectiveness of pancreatic therapy;
- to establish the condition of retropancreatic vessels;
- during the preventive examination;
- in preparation for surgical intervention on the gland.
Pancreatic ultrasound should be performed with the following complaints of the patient:
- the presence of pain in the area of the left hypochondrium or in the epigastrium;
- shingles (most likely, they indicate the presence of pancreatitis);
- periodic vomiting and nausea;
- ст problems with the chair;
- drastic weight loss;
- constant flatulence, feeling of bloating.
Preparation for pancreatic ultrasound
Preparation for pancreatic ultrasound should begin 48 hours before the scheduled visit to the clinic. It is necessary to give up food that can provoke the formation of gases in the intestines. As a preparation for pancreatic ultrasound, doctors strongly recommend giving up vegetables, black bread, dairy and fermented milk products. This is very important! It is forbidden to eat later than 12 hours before the pancreatic ultrasound. On the eve of a visit to a medical center, it is advisable to drink a few tablets of ordinary activated charcoal: this will help reduce the level of intestinal pneumatization. Don’t forget to bring a clean small towel with you.
Methods of diagnostics
Pancreatic ultrasound is performed using sensors with a frequency of 2-7 MHz. Visualization of the departments of organs is carried out polypositionally, that is, a person is located on the left, right side, on the back. In order for the ultrasound to be more informative, the doctor may advise you to drink a large amount of water before arriving at the clinic.
Transcript of the results
Normally, the echostructure of the organ is homogeneous. The echogenicity of the gland is slightly increased, its contours are even.
Information about healthy sizes of different parts of the pancreas should be taken into account:
- The diameter of the head is about 2.8 cm.
- The diameter of the medial part of the body should not exceed 2 cm.
- The diameter of the tail is normally about 2.5 cm.
- The approximate diameter of the pancreatic duct should be no more than 2 millimeters. Not only the size is important: in the normal case, the cavity and the wall are determined, the contours are even.
Diffuse increase in the size of the pancreas by ultrasound in most cases indicates an acute form of pancreatitis. Uneven increased echogenicity is a sign of a chronic form of the disease.
When deciphered normally, pancreatic ultrasound does not reveal any bulky formations. If they are present, then there is a cyst or tumor in the organ. What is the difference between these concepts? A cyst is a cavity formation. In some situations, it is difficult to decipher pancreatic ultrasound: acute pancreatitis may resemble a tumor. In a controversial case, a repeat examination is carried out after 14 days, and the patient also donates blood.
Normally, pancreatic ultrasound does not reveal the expansion of the pancreatic duct. The reverse picture indicates a tumor of the head of the organ, the presence of a stone, a complication after surgery.
To establish a diagnosis, it is important not only to determine deviations from the norm of the size of the pancreas by ultrasound, but also to conduct a biochemical blood test.
Ultrasound examination of the pancreas is to some extent inferior to the informative value of MRI of the pancreas, but the price of this method of examination is several times lower.