CT Scan of the Pancreas and Multiphasic Study

Monday, March 27, 2017

CT scan of the Pancreas

    CT scan is the imaging method of choice for evaluating the pancreas for most indications and provides more reliable overall data than methods such as ultrasound, plain film radiography and contrast examination of the gastrointestinal tract.
    The pancreas differs in size, shape and location on the type of habitus of the individual. In general, the pancreas is located between the areas of the 12th thoracic vertebra located superiorly and the second lumbar vertebra in inferiorly. A technique that include the use of thin slices and administration of intravenous (IV) contrast agent enhancement improves the likelihood of visualizing the main pancreatic duct. In a jaundiced patient, noncontrast scans through the area of the common bile duct may allow the visualization of common bile duct calculi. Water or low attenuation oral contrast agents are preferred because dense contrast may obscure small stones. When initial scans fail to differentiate the margin of the pancreas from the duodenum, the patient is often given additional oral contrast material and additional slices are obtained with the patient lying in a right decubitus positions.

ct scan
CT Scan showing the Pancreas

Multiphase Pancreatic CT Scan

     Multiphase protocols are common for pancreatic indications. Most commonly, data acquisition is timed to coincide with the late arterial phase, it is approximately 35 to 40 seconds after a bolus injection, and the portal venous phase it is approximately 65 to 75 seconds after a bolus injection. Because the exact timing of these phases is patient dependent, bolus tracking software is often used.

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