Noninvasive Imaging of Pediatric Pancreatitis

Patient Guideline Summary

Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Objective

Objective

This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Society for Pediatric Radiology for noninvasive imaging of pediatric pancreatitis.

Overview

Overview

  • Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a digestive organ beneath the stomach. Pancreatitis can be acute, chronic or recurrent and mild, moderate or severe in intensity. It is uncommon in children.
  • Some of the most common causes of pancreatitis in children are genetic. Other causes include obstruction of the outflow tract, injury, infections and alcohol consumption.
  • The major symptom is pain, often severe, in the upper abdomen.
  • This patient summary focuses on imaging strategies to evaluate and treat childhood pancreatitis.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

  • Three modalities are available to visualize the pancreas:
    • Ultrasound
    • Computed tomography (CT)
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Each gives a distinctly different image and therefore offers options to you child’s doctors depending on you child’s particular condition — acute, chronic or recurrent and the presumed cause that needs to be verified.
    • MRI is often preferred, especially when the bile ducts are suspect or the blood supply is at issue.
  • Imaging can also identify complications such as bleeding and fluid collections, monitor progress, identify nearby associated problems, and plan treatment.

Treatment

Treatment

  • The same imaging modalities can also be used to assist in treating pancreatitis.

Abbreviations

  • CT: Computed Tomography
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Source Citation

Trout AT, Anupindi SA, Freeman AJ, Macias-Flores JA, Martinez JA, Parashette KR, Shah U, Squires JH, Morinville VD, Husain SZ, Abu-El-Haija M. North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Society for Pediatric Radiology Joint Position Paper on Noninvasive Imaging of Pediatric Pancreatitis: Literature Summary and Recommendations. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2021 Jan 1;72(1):151-167. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002964. PMID: 33003171.

Disclaimer

The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.