How Pancreatitis is Diagnosed?


is the inflammation of the pancreas. Let us see what is pancreas and how pancreatitis is diagnosed.


The pancreas is a large gland that is located behind the stomach, close to the duodenum. In normal adult human, the pancreas is about 7 inches (17.8 cm) long and 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide. It is a yellowish organ that secretes digestive enzymes or juices in the duodenum through a duct called the pancreatic duct.

There are two types of pancreatitis:




Acute pancreatitis means acute inflammation of the pancreas. It only lasts for a few days. In chronic pancreatitis, the inflammation may last long for a few years.

Diagnosis of Pancreas:

Pancreatitis is diagnosed by taking a detailed

patient’s medical history,

examining the symptoms. The next step is the

blood test.

During pancreatitis, the blood contains abnormally high amount of amylase and lipase, digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas.

In acute pancreatitis, the diagnosis is challenging as the pancreas is located deep into the body. Sophisticated medical procedures are employed to diagnose the condition. Some of them are:

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan:

The CT Scan of abdomen is a noninvasive X-ray that produces 3 dimensional pictures of the body parts that are scanned. In pancreatitis, the abdomen is scanned to see the extent of damage to pancreas and effect of inflammation to the gallstones.

Abdominal Ultrasound:

Ultrasound is based on the principle of bouncing back of the sound waves. The echo of the sound reflects and makes electrical impulses which creates an image called sonogram. Any inflammation is clearly seen along with the location and surroundings. Here, the abdominal ultrasound is taken to visualize the pancreas.

Endoscopic Ultrasound:

The principle is same as the above, but here the echoes are recorded after inserting an endoscope down the throat, through the stomach and intestine. This aids in a more clear examination of the pancreas.

Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography:

Magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize the detailed internal structure of the body parts. It gives much better contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than any other imaging technique. A radioactive dye is injected into the patient’s vein and pancreas, gall bladder, pancreatic ducts, etc. are visualized clearly.

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