Published online Dec 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i47.9003
Revised: September 15, 2013
Accepted: October 19, 2013
Published online: December 21, 2013
Traumatic injury to the pancreas is rare and difficult to diagnose. In contrast, traumatic injuries to the liver, spleen and kidney are common and are usually identified with ease by imaging modalities. Pancreatic injuries are usually subtle to identify by different diagnostic imaging modalities, and these injuries are often overlooked in cases with extensive multiorgan trauma. The most evident findings of pancreatic injury are post-traumatic pancreatitis with blood, edema, and soft tissue infiltration of the anterior pararenal space. The alterations of post-traumatic pancreatitis may not be visualized within several hours following trauma as they are time dependent. Delayed diagnoses of traumatic pancreatic injuries are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Imaging plays an important role in diagnosis of pancreatic injuries because early recognition of the disruption of the main pancreatic duct is important. We reviewed our experience with the use of various imaging modalities for diagnosis of blunt pancreatic trauma.
Core tip: The pancreas is a relatively uncommon organ to be injured in abdominal trauma and difficult to diagnose. Pancreatic injuries are usually subtle to identify by different diagnostic imaging modalities and these injuries are often overlooked in cases with extensive multiorgan trauma. They are associated with considerably high morbidity and mortality in cases of delayed diagnosis, incorrect classification of the injury, or delays in treatment. This review provides an overall concise update on pancreatic trauma and highlights the findings of pancreatic trauma on various imaging modalities.