Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the West, with a poor overall 5-year survival rate of only 4%. Late clinical presentation with an advanced disease results in a low rate of surgical intervention. Tumor serum marker CA 19-9 is sensitive, although not specific for the diagnosis of adenocarcinomas of the pancreas. The treatment approach is based on whether the tumor is resectable or non-resectable at presentation. Therefore, imaging plays a crucial role in the management of this disease. Many modalities are available to image the pancreas. They include non-invasive techniques, like ultrasound, contrast-enhanced multidetector computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and integrated positron emission tomography/computed tomography, and invasive techniques, like endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and endoscopic ultrasound. Each of these modalities has its peculiar strengths and weaknesses.
- Endoscopic ultrasound
- Multidetector computed tomography
- Positron emission tomography/computed tomography
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