The diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis is based on altered pancreatic morphology and function. A spectrum of disease exists, and milder forms of disease may be missed by CT but demonstrated by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) or endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). The accuracy of ERCP and EUS for diagnosis of "minimal change" or "early" chronic pancreatitis is controversial, particularly when the results from these imaging procedures are discordant with each other or with tests of pancreatic function; in some cases ERCP and EUS should be considered indeterminate for diagnosis. This review discusses recent data concerning the accuracy of ERCP and EUS for diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis, the use of EUS fine-needle aspiration for differential diagnosis of pancreatic masses, and the use of EUS and EUS-guided TruCut biopsy for diagnosis of autoimmune pancreatitis.
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