A team from the Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan examined the usefulness of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) in assessing the cause of acute pancreatitis in children.
The researchers performed MRCP in 16 patients with acute pancreatitis. The study population was divided into two groups, according to the cause of acute pancreatitis.
Group 1 consisted of 7 patients sonographically diagnosed with choledochal cysts; and Group 2 consisted of 9 patients with no obvious cause of acute pancreatitis.
Non-breath-hold MRCP using the half-Fourier, single-shot, fast spin-echo imaging method was performed within 7 days after the onset of pancreatitis.
|MRCP detected the following conditions:|
- abnormal union of pancreaticobiliary junction
- pancreatic divisum
- dilation of main pancreatic duct
The researchers detected abnormal union of the pancreaticobiliary junction in 6 of 7 Group 1 patients and in I of 9 Group 2 patients.
Pancreatic divisum was detected in one patient in Group 1, but could not be confirmed in one patient in Group 2.
Dilatation of the main pancreatic duct was detected in one patient in Group 1 and in 3 patients in Group 2.
Toshiaki Shimizu, of the Department of Pediatrics, concluded on behalf of the team, "Our results suggest that MRCP is a useful, non-invasive method of identifying and ruling out structural abnormalities of the pancreaticobiliary tract as a cause of acute pancreatitis in children with early-stage pancreatitis."