Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1180–1192 | Cite as

Utility of transabdominal ultrasound for surveillance of known pancreatic cystic lesions: prospective evaluation with MRI as reference standard

  • Maryellen R. M. Sun
  • Corinne D. Strickland
  • Bahar Tamjeedi
  • Alexander Brook
  • Koenraad J. Mortele
  • Olga R. Brook
  • Robert A. Kane
  • Bettina Siewert



To prospectively assess the utility of transabdominal ultrasound in surveillance of known pancreatic cystic lesions (PCL) using same day MRI as reference standard.


In an IRB-approved study with written informed consent, patients with known PCL underwent pancreas US on same day as surveillance MRI. US was performed blinded to same date MRI results. Transverse (TR), antero-posterior (AP), cranio-caudal (CC), and longest any plane diameter, were measured for each PCL at US and MRI. Visualization was correlated with patient (weight, abdominal diameter, thickness of abdominal fat, sex) and cyst (location, size, internal complexity) factors.


252 PCLs evaluated in 57 subjects (39 females; mean age 67 (range 39–86) yrs). Mean maximum PCL diameter 8.5 (range 2–92) mm. US identified 100% (5/5) of cysts ≥3 cm; 92% (12/13) ≥2 and <3 cm; 78% (43/55) ≥1 and <2 cm; 35% (27/78) ≥5 mm and <1 cm; and 16% (16/101) <5 mm. US visualization correlated with PCL location (<0.0001), size (p < 0.0001), patient gender (p = 0.005), participation of attending radiologist (p = 0.03); inversely with patient weight (p = 0.012) and AP abdominal diameter (p = 0.01).


Many PCLs are visualized and accurately measured at follow-up with transabdominal ultrasound. Visualization correlates with lesion size, location, patient sex, weight, and abdominal diameter.


Ultrasound Pancreas Cysts Magnetic Resonance Imaging Surveillance 



The authors would like to acknowledge Laurie Sammons, RDMS and Lisa Napolitano, RDMS, for assistance with ultrasound examinations, as well as Lauren O’Loughlin, Bridget Giarusso, Amy Callahan, and Kelly Roth, for administrative support.

Compliance with ethical standards


No grants or funding were associated with this study.

Conflict of interest

There are no disclosures relevant to the content of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryellen R. M. Sun
    • 1
  • Corinne D. Strickland
    • 2
  • Bahar Tamjeedi
    • 3
  • Alexander Brook
    • 4
  • Koenraad J. Mortele
    • 4
  • Olga R. Brook
    • 5
  • Robert A. Kane
    • 5
  • Bettina Siewert
    • 5
  1. 1.Lowell General HospitalLowellUSA
  2. 2.Radiology LtdTucsonUSA
  3. 3.TorontoCanada
  4. 4.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  5. 5.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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