Diagnosis of Pancreatitis

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Acute pancreatitis is normally diagnosed if at least 2 of the following are found:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • High levels (3 times higher than the upper normal limit) of amylase and/or lipase in the blood (137 U/L amylase and 70 U/L lipase).
  • Alteration of pancreatic morphology, seen in imaging tests.

Chronic pancreatitis is diagnosed from compatible symptoms (abdominal pain); pancreatic morphological changes (e.g. calcifications, pancreatic atrophy or ductal dilatation) seen from imaging studies and, occasionally, pathological evidence in the biopsy or in the pancreatic surgical specimen.

The imaging tests used to visualise the pancreas are computerised axial tomography,  magnetic resonance and endoscopic ultrasound.

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