Abam R.O and Nwankwo NC
Normal values of the antero-posterior diameter of the head of the pancreas are of utmost value in radiological practice. With more than 60% of diseases and tumours of the pancreas occurring in its head, knowledge of its normal size is essential to the clinician. Computed tomography (CT) is the most effective technique for the diagnosis and staging of pancreatic carcinoma and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to study the normal pancreas. However ultrasonography remains a reliable, reproducible, safe, and cheap imaging modality for assessing this organ. The aim of this study is to generate sonographic data for the antero-posterior diameter of the head of the pancreas in normal adult population in Port-Harcourt South-South Nigeria. In this study, the antero-posterior diameters of the head of the pancreas of four hundred normal adults were measured. The ultrasound machine used was Aloka 3500(Aloka Inc. Japan 2004), with a 3.5MHz curvilinear probe. For the participants’ weight and height, a dual height and weight scale was used. Of the four hundred adult participants, two hundred and seventeen were females and one hundred and eighty three were males. The mean anteroposterior diameter of the head of the pancreas was 2.03 cm +/-0.33 cm. There was a poor linear correlation between the subjects’ weight and the pancreatic head diameter(r=0.009), as well as between the height and pancreatic head diameter(r=0.005). Ultrasonography is an affordable, reliable and reproducible means of measuring the antero-posterior diameter of the head of the pancreas and the findings from this study can be used as a reference for disease detection and monitoring.
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