PURPOSE: To evaluate magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for assessment of pancreatic damage in cystic fibrosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven patients with cystic fibrosis and 12 control subjects underwent T1-weighted imaging for visual assessment of pancreatic hyperintensity and mixed spin- echo-inversion-recovery imaging for quantitative measurement of T1. Pancreatic insufficiency, pulmonary status, and genotype were recorded. Statistical correlation was conducted. RESULTS: Four patterns of pancreatic involvement were noted: diffuse hyperintensity with a lobular pattern, diffuse homogeneous hyperintensity without residual lobular pattern, hyperintensity with focal areas of sparing, and no structural or signal intensity changes. Statistically significant reduction of the T1 was noted in 21 patients compared with that of controls. Statistically significant correlation between T1 shortening and pulmonary clinical-radiologic compromise and pancreatic insufficiency was found. CONCLUSION: MR imaging may offer further indication of pancreatic and, indirectly, pulmonary damage during the clinical course of cystic fibrosis. A pattern of fibrofatty infiltration of the pancreas, of undetermined clinical significance, is reported.
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