Background Objectives: ElastPQ®-pSWE is an ultrasound technique developed to stage disease severity in patients with chronic liver diseases. Little data is available about its application to the pancreas. We aimed to assess the feasibility and reproducibility of pancreatic stiffness (PS) measurements in patients with chronic pancreatitis and their relationship with clinical and laboratory data. Material and methods 52 consecutive patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) (40 males; median age 60 years) underwent hepatic and pancreatic pSWE. Liver stiffness was measured by transient elastography, 42 healthy subjects being controls (25 males; median age 54 years). Pancreatic pSWE inter-observer agreement was analyzed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). The effects of clinical, laboratory and US data on PS measurements were evaluated by linear regression. Results pSWE was feasible in all the CP patients, but one. Pancreatic stiffness was significantly higher in CP patients than healthy controls (4.3 ± SD 2.4 vs. 2.8 ± SD 1.1 kPa, respectively, p = 0.001). Significantly higher values in the CP group were observed in patients with longer disease duration (>10 vs. ≤10 years) (5.8 ± SD 4 vs. 3.9 ± SD 1.5 kPa, respectively, p = 0.01), on chronic analgesic drugs (6.0 vs. 3.5 kPa, p < 0.05) and with lower body weight (p < 0.05, r = −0.38). At multivariate analysis all the three variables resulted independently associated to the pancreatic stiffness value. The ICC for PS was 0.77. Conclusions ElastPQ®-pSWE is promising and reproducible in assessing pancreatic stiffness, which mainly reflects disease length and severity. Accordingly, its use is of potential value in stratifying CP patients by identifying those with a more serious degree of disease.
- Chronic pancreatitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism