Standards of the Polish Ultrasound Society – update. Pancreas examination
J Ultrason 2013; 13 (53): 167–177
ABSTRACT

Ultrasound examination of the pancreas constitutes an integral part of the abdominal ultrasound. It is mostly indicated to diagnose pain in the epigastrium, discomfort and jaundice as well as to monitor the patients with acute pancreatitis. The assessment of this organ in an ultrasound examination may be problematic due to its anatomical location and the fact that it might be covered by gastric and duodenal contents as well as due to a number of possible pathological changes, including inflammation and benign or malignant neoplasms, which require differentiation. The basis for establishing a correct diagnosis is the knowledge of the examination technique, correct pancreas structure and images of individual pathologies. This paper presents the standards of ultrasound examination published in 2011 and updated with the current knowledge. The following are discussed: preparation of the patient for the examination, abnormal lesions in the pancreas, acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, cystic lesions (benign and malignant cysts) and solid focal lesions. Ultrasound is also used to guide the drainage of fluid cisterns, abscesses and cysts. The prime role in the diagnosis and treatment of selected diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract and parenchymal organs of the abdomen belongs to endosonography of the upper gastrointestinal tract, with the possibility to conduct a fine needle aspiration biopsy, and intraoperative or laparoscopic ultrasound.

Key words: ultrasound examination, standards of ultrasound examination, pathologies of the pancreas, pancreatic carcinoma, indications for specific types of ultrasound examination