After completing this article,
readers should be able to:
Know the imaging differences between adults and children in acute pancreatitis and to identify the main radiological findings in acute pancreatitis in pediatric age.
Know the normal anatomy of the pancreas and the morphologic characteristics in pediatric age.
Explain the utility of different diagnostic procedures.
List common causes for acute pancreatitis in children.
Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that leads to an enzyme activation within the pancreas and produces an auto-digestion of the gland and local inflammation.
The rise in incidence of pancreatitis in pediatric population is believed to be multifactorial.
Some studies have linked it to the rising incidence of obesity among children others to an increase in emergency department visits and testing of serum amylase and lipase.
Elucidation of the etiology of acute pancreatitis should be continued after a...
Findings and procedure details
Imagingplays an important role in the management of selected cases ofacute pancreatitis,
complementing laboratory investigations or when only 1 out of 3 diagnostic criteria of pancreatitis is present.
These are the common imaging findings in patients with acute pancreatitis:
Plain chest X-ray: (These findings are not specific for acute pancreatitis but important for disease severity).
ARDS (Acute respiratory distress syndrome)
Plain abdominal X-ray:(These findings are necessary for a differential diagnosis and to exclude perforation)
colon cut-off sign
The acute pancreatitis is an important challenge for the different medical specialties that are involved in its management,
since the current practice is based completely on the historical approach and the extrapolation of adult studies.
Pancreatic alterations in children are relatively frequent.
Previous knowledge of the embryological development and the normal anatomy of the pancreas and the morphologic characteristics of the pediatric age are essential to diagnose acute pancreatitis.
Guiomar Piqué Rey
First-year Radiology resident at the Hospital of Tortosa,
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