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To compare ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the diagnosis and determination of resectability of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.Articles reporting US, CT, or MRI data of patients with known or suspected pancreatic adenocarcinoma and at least 20 patients verified with histopathology, surgical findings, or follow-up were included. A bivariate random effects approach was used to calculate sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis and resectability of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.Sixty-eight articles fulfilled all inclusion criteria. For diagnosis, sensitivities of helical CT, conventional CT, MRI, and US were 91%, 86%, 84%, and 76% and specificities were 85%, 79%, 82%, and 75% respectively. Sensitivities for MRI and US were significantly lower compared with helical CT (P = 0.04 and P = 0.0001). For determining resectability, sensitivities of helical CT, conventional CT, MRI, and US were 81%, 82%, 82, and 83% and specificities were 82%, 76%, 78%, and 63% respectively. Specificity of US was significantly lower compared with helical CT (P = 0.011).Helical CT is preferable as an imaging modality for the diagnosis and determination of resectability of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.