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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 40

of 'Autoimmune pancreatitis'

Difficulty in diagnosing autoimmune pancreatitis by imaging findings.
Nakazawa T, Ohara H, Sano H, Ando T, Imai H, Takada H, Hayashi K, Kitajima Y, Joh T
Gastrointest Endosc. 2007;65(1):99.
BACKGROUND: Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) presents as diffuse enlargement of the pancreas and as diffuse irregular narrowing of the main pancreatic duct. However, some AIP cases are difficult to diagnose because of atypical imaging findings.
OBJECTIVE: To clarify a variety of imaging findings of AIP and the reason for its misdiagnosis.
DESIGN: We examined the imaging findings of 37 AIP cases and also examined misdiagnosed cases of AIP to determine their reasons for misdiagnosis.
PATIENTS: A total of 37 patients with AIP who reported to our hospital or its affiliate over a 17-year period (1989 to May 2005).
RESULTS: Patients in 15 AIP cases showed segmental narrowing of the main pancreatic duct. There were 6 patients with focal enlargement of the pancreas, whereas 3 patients showed no enlargement. There were 3cases of calcification of the pancreas. Pancreatic cysts were detected in 2 patients. Abdominal US showed multiple low-echoic masses in 1 case and a single mass in 3 cases. Sixteen patients had stenosis of the bile duct at the hilar hepatic lesion and/or the intrahepatic duct. Only 7 patients had typical AIP findings. Six patients were misdiagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 2 with bile-duct cancer. Seven cases were surgically treated. Five cases were misdiagnosed because of the nonexistence of, or the unfamiliarity with, the concept of AIP and sclerosing cholangitis with AIP. Another 3 cases were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer because of segmental stenosis of the main pancreatic duct and no or focal enlargement of the pancreas.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that AIP presents a variety of imaging findings. The most important diagnostic factor is clinician awareness of the concept of AIP and the diverse nature of imaging findings.
Department of Internal Medicine and Bioregulation, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan.