Ultrasound diagnosis of pancreatic solid tumors

  • Atsushi SofuniEmail author
  • Takayoshi Tsuchiya
  • Takao Itoi
Special Feature: Review Article Ultrasonographic diagnosis of pancreatic diseases-This is all you need



Advances and widespread use of various diagnostic imaging modalities have dramatically improved our ability to visualize and diagnose pancreatic diseases. In particular, ultrasonography in pancreatic diseases plays an important role from screening to diagnosis as a simple and safe examination method.


The basic scanning method of transabdominal pancreatic ultrasonography, characterization, and differential diagnosis by ultrasonography including contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) for solid pancreatic tumors are reviewed with reference to various papers.


In recent years, the ability to visualize and diagnose pancreatic mass lesions has been dramatically improved with advances in ultrasound equipment. In particular, CEUS using an ultrasound contrast agent has made it possible to evaluate hemodynamics in organs or lesions as well as in the flow signal of arterial blood vessels, and it has played an important role not only in diagnosis of the presence of a lesion but also in the qualitative diagnosis. The enhancement behavior and pattern with CEUS of pancreatic solid tumors is shown in text and Fig. 9. Moreover, the flow chart for diagnosing pancreatic solid tumors with CEUS classifying the enhancement behavior and pattern for pancreatic solid tumors on CEUS is shown (Fig. 10). In meta-analyses, the pooled sensitivity in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinomas and other pancreatic focal masses with CEUS was 86–90%, and the pooled specificity was 75–88%.


CEUS is a minimally invasive and useful diagnostic method that can be used to make a simple and quick qualitative diagnosis of pancreatic diseases. CEUS provides a lot of information important for diagnosis, and has led to changes in the conventional diagnostic systems in pancreatic diseases.


Pancreatic solid tumors Transabdominal ultrasonography Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) 





Tissue harmonic imaging


Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography


Contrast-enhanced computed tomography


Superior mesenteric vein


Superior mesenteric artery


Acute pancreatitis


Chronic pancreatitis


Autoimmune pancreatitis


Pancreatic cancer


Mass-forming pancreatitis


Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor


Solid pseudopapillary neoplasm


The European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology


Pancreatic Multicenter Ultrasound Study


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Ethical statement

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atsushi Sofuni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takayoshi Tsuchiya
    • 1
  • Takao Itoi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology and HepatologyTokyo Medical UniversityTokyoJapan

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