Diagnostic Approach

  • Mario Tadić
  • Tajana Štoos-Veić
  • Ivica Grgurević
Part of the Clinical Gastroenterology book series (CG)


The diagnostic approach for pancreatic disease must rely on a combination of laboratory tests, imaging studies, and clinical symptoms. However, the symptoms of pancreatic diseases are often absent for a long time. Establishing a diagnosis at an early stage of the disease can improve outcomes by providing adequate treatment modalities and preventing complications. Pancreatic enzyme tests in body fluids have proven their value in evaluation of pancreatic disease but have some limitations. Pancreatic function tests detect diffuse pancreatic disease and reveal early deterioration of pancreatic exocrine function before the clinical characteristics such as maldigestion or steatorrhea occur. Advances in technologies have given the ability to visualize changes in pancreatic structure using available imaging procedures. However, detecting pancreatic disease in its early stages is still a difficult task. In this chapter, we discuss the diagnostic approach to pancreatic disease, and the advantages and disadvantages of available diagnostic methods, identifying gaps for each method to increase diagnostic accuracy of early-stage pancreatic disease.


Pancreatitis Pancreatic cancer Exocrine insufficiency Pancreatic imaging Transabdominal ultrasound Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) EUS-FNA (endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration) Computed tomography (CT) Secretin-enhanced MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Tadić
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tajana Štoos-Veić
    • 3
  • Ivica Grgurević
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Clinical NutritionUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmacy and BiochemistryUniversity Hospital DubravaZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and CytologyUniversity Hospital DubravaZagrebCroatia

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