Ultrasound echo-intensity predicts severe Pancreatic affection in cystic fibrosis patients
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Background: Pancreatic destruction affects the majority of patients with cystic fibrosis. We aimed to relate ultrasound findings to exocrine pancreatic function and cystic fibrosis genotype.
Methods: Patients with cystic fibrosis and a matched group of healthy controls were included. We performed transabdominal ultrasound, and recorded echo intensities of the pancreas and parenchymal characteristics according to endoscopic ultrasound based Rosemont criteria.
Results: We included 39 patients and 29 healthy controls. The cystic fibrosis patients were grouped according to exocrine pancreatic function; Cystic fibrosis, insufficient (n = 20) and sufficient (n = 19). Echo intensity measures and visual score demonstrated hyper-echogenicity in the pancreas insufficient group compared to the pancreas sufficient groups (p<0.001). Ductal and parenchymal changes were not prevalent in any of the groups.
Conclusion: The hyper-echoic pancreas was the most frequent ultrasonographic finding in exocrine pancreas insufficient cystic fibrosis patients. Pancreatic echo levels correlated to pancreatic phenotype.