MRCP Versus ERCP in the Evaluation of Chronic Pancreatitis in Children: Which Is the Better Choice?

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To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) in the detection of chronic pancreatitis (CP)–specific changes in the pediatric population.


The study included 48 children with pancreatic disorders subjected to both endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and MRCP within a 1- to 4-month interval. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of MRCP in the detection of CP-specific changes were determined using ERCP as a diagnostic standard.


Diagnostic ERCP pancreatograms were obtained in 41 (85.4%) of 48 patients and diagnostic MRCP images in all 48 children. The sensitivity and positive predictive value of MRCP were 77.1% and 90%, respectively, and its specificity and negative predictive value amounted to 50% and 27.3%, respectively. The patients with consistent results of MRCP and ERCP (ie, true-positive and true-negative cases) and individuals with incompatible results of the tests (ie, false-positive and false-negative cases) differed in terms of their median age at MRCP (14.17 vs 10.33 years) and median CP stage according to the Cambridge Scale (4 vs 2).


Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography provides diagnostic information equivalent to ERCP in a large percentage of pediatric patients with CP and should be used as the imaging method of choice, especially if the likelihood of therapeutic intervention is low.

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