ERCP Imaging

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Localization and spread of pancreatic diseases has been a reality since the availability of endoscopic pancreatog-raphy in the late 1960s, particularly after development of a fiberscope for this purpose. Endoscopic pancreatography allowed the clinician to discern the position and site of cancers, cysts, and localized inflammations. Ductal anomalies, such as annular pancreas, nonfusion, and anomalous junction of pan-creatobiliary connection, were clearly recognized also. The pancreatography opacified the real lumen instead of the virtual images of ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), so that precise studies comparing histopathologic details could be performed. The pancreatic ductal information visualized by using the fiber-scope changed our understanding of chronic inflammation of the pancreas. Chronic diffuse pancreatitis, upstream pancreatitis, ductitis, and duct-narrowing pancreatitis were specified from their pathogenetic differences. Although the noninvasive methods such as US and CT will be the first choice for the diagnosis of pancreatic diseases, pancreatography will still be important for the morphologic studies of the pancreas in various disease conditions.

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