Evaluation of qualitative magnetic resonance imaging features for diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis

Nisha I. Sainani, Vivek Kadiyala, Koenraad Mortele, Linda Lee, Shadeah Suleiman, Jessica Rosenblum, Wei Wang, Peter A. Banks, Darwin L. Conwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine qualitative pancreatic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features that must be present to predict abnormal pancreatic secretory function in patients evaluated for chronic pancreatitis (CP). Methods: The MRIs of study subjects were reviewed by 2 abdominal radiologists; qualitative parenchyma and ductal features were recorded. Endoscopic pancreatic function test (ePFT) results (reference standard) were classified as normal (peak pancreatic fluid bicarbonate [HCO3-] ≥75 meq/L) or abnormal (<75). Abnormal ePFT was further classified as mild/moderate (74-65) and marked deficiency (<65). Statistical analysis was performed to assess the association between MRI features and abnormal ePFT. Results: The study cohort was composed of 93 subjects, mean age 49 years (range, 18-78 years), 65% females. Univariate analysis identified 9 qualitative MRI features significantly (P < 0.05) associated with abnormal pancreatic secretory function. Number of MRI features increases as peak pancreatic fluid [HCO3-] decreases (Pearson r = -0.629; P = 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis determined that a threshold of 6 or more associated MRI features 64% sensitive and 94% specific for marked bicarbonate deficiency. Conclusions: Qualitative MRI parenchymal and ductal features are associated with CP. Presence of 6 or more features results in a higher specificity for the diagnosis of CP in advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1280-1289
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • MRI
  • Pancreas
  • Qualitative
  • Secretin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology


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