Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Evaluation of the Pancreatic Neoplasms

Wassim Asfari, M.D. Sang Soo Shin, M.D. Richard C. Semelka MD
Department of Radiology University of North Carolina Hospitals Chapel Hill

The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a valuable screening tool in the evaluation of various pancreatic diseases, including pancreatic neoplasms. A standard MR protocol including non-contrast T1-weighted fat-suppressed and dynamic gadolinium-enhanced gradient-echo imaging is sensitive for the assessment of the pancreatic tumors. The usefulness of MRI in the investigation of pancreatic tumors could be summarized as follows: (1) detection and characterization of pancreatic tumors, especially small tumors, (2) evaluation of local extension and vascular encasement, and (3) determination of the presence of lymph node, peritoneal, and liver metastases...



Figure 1: Normal pancreas. T1-weighted fat-suppressed SGE (A),

Figure 2: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma arising in the head. Transverse immediate post-contrast fat-suppressed T1-weighted 3D-GE (A) and coronal oblique thick-section MRCP (B) images. On immediate postcontrast image (A), the tumor is well shown as a low signal intensity mass (arrow). The MRCP image (B) demonstrates obstruction of the common bile duct and pancreatic duct, creating the double duct sign.

    [ Fig.1A-1B ] [ Fig.2 ]
    Figure 3: Functioning islet cell tumor. T1-weighted post-contrast fat-suppressed 3D GE image shows diffuse heterogeneous enhancement of the tumor (arrow). Figure 4: Side-branch type IPMT. Coronal T2-weighted single shot echo trains spin echo (A) and axial post-gadolinium fat-suppressed T1-weighted gradient echo (B) images demonstrate mainly large cystic side branch lesion in the head of the pancreas (arrow).
    [ Fig.3 ] [ Fig.4 ]


Corresponding author :
Richard C. Semelka, M.D.

Department of Radiology  UNC
Chapel Hill
CB 7510 – 2001 Old Clinic Bldg 
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7510
Phone: (919) 966-9676
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S.I.A.E.C.M.  -  Dipartimento di Radiologia
Società Scientifica Registrata Ministero della Salute, del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali ECM n. 5607
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