Pitfalls in scanning the pancreas

Ultrasound images The normal stomach or duodenum can mimic pancreatic pathology if the patient is insufficiently fasted. A fluid-filled stomach can be particularly difficult when looking for pancreatic pseudocysts in patients with acute pancreatitis. Giving the patient a drink of water usually differentiates the
gastrointestinal tract from a collection.
Epigastric or portal lymphadenopathy may also mimic a pancreatic mass. If careful scanning and appropriate patient positioning are unable to elucidate,
CT is normally the next step.

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