Autoimmune pancreatitis: an illustrated guide to diagnosis.

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Autoimmune pancreatitis: an illustrated guide to diagnosis.

Clin Radiol. 2013 Apr;68(4):422-32

Authors: Proctor RD, Rofe CJ, Bryant TJ, Hacking CN, Stedman B

Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) remains one of the rarer forms of pancreatitis but has become increasingly well recognized and widely diagnosed as it is an important differential, particularly due to the dramatic response to appropriate therapy. It is now best considered as part of a multisystem disease and the notion of "IgG4-related systemic sclerosing disease" has become widely recognized as the number of extra-pancreatic associations of AIP grows. More recently AIP has been classified into two subtypes: lymphoplasmacytic sclerosing pancreatitis (LPSP) and idiopathic duct-centric pancreatitis (IDCP) with distinct geographical, age and sex distributions for the two subtypes, in addition to different pathological characteristics. The role of imaging is crucial in AIP and should be considered in conjunction with clinical, serological, and histopathological findings to make the diagnosis. Radiologists are uniquely placed to raise the possibility of AIP and aid the exclusion of significant differentials to allow the initiation of appropriate management and avoidance of unnecessary intervention. Radiological investigation may reveal a number of characteristic imaging findings in AIP but appearances can vary considerably and the focal form of AIP may appear as a pancreatic mass, imitating pancreatic carcinoma. This review will illustrate typical and atypical appearances of AIP on all imaging modes. Emphasis will be placed on the imaging features that are likely to prove useful in discriminating AIP from other causes prior to histopathological confirmation. In addition, examples of relevant differential diagnoses are discussed and illustrated.

PMID: 23177083 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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