Endosonographic Criteria Chronic Pancreatitis
Alexander Hann, Alexander Meining
This article provides an overview of the scoring systems commonly used for diagnosing chronic pancreatitis by means of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), and for classifying the degree of severity of the condition.
On EUS, the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis is based on assessment of the duct and also the parenchyma. The “nine classic criteria” listed in Table 1 can be diagnosed . Intraparenchymal calcifications and pancreatic duct stones are highly specific criteria. In the absence of these types of pathology, only the simultaneous occurrence of four or more of the other criteria is consistent with chronic pancreatitis . Several of the criteria may also be observed in the general population without any underlying disease in the organ . The findings are influenced by age and by alcohol and cigarette consumption. If only two or fewer criteria are present, chronic pancreatitis is unlikely .
When a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis is established using EUS, it is particularly important for the report on the findings to document each criterion tested, in order to substantiate that a complete examination has been carried out [5,6].
Table 1 Nine classic criteria for establishing a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis on EUS
|Hyperechoic foci with and without shadows||Stones in the duct|
|Echo-dense septa||Irregular duct|
|Cysts||Dilated side ducts|
|Honeycomb-like lobulation||Dilated main duct|
|Hyperechoic contours on the main duct|
The Rosemont classification (Tables 2 and 3) is another system that is used to diagnose chronic pancreatitis with EUS. In contrast to the nine classic criteria, this system uses major and minor criteria to establish the diagnosis . Despite this weighting of the criteria, however, no benefit in comparison with the classic criteria has yet been demonstrated [8,9].
Table 2 Rosemont criteria for establishing a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis 
|Hyperechoic foci with acoustic shadows
(major A); body/tail
|Stones in the duct (major A)|
(major B); body/tail
|Irregular duct (minor); body/tail|
|Lobulation without honeycombing
|Dilated side ducts (minor); body/tail|
|Hyperechoic foci without acoustic shadows
|Dilated main duct (minor); body/tail|
|Cysts (minor)||Hyperechoic contours on the main duct
|Echo-dense septa (minor); body/tail|
Table 3 Interpretation of the Rosemont criteria
|Definitive CP||1 major A + ≥ 3 minor
1 major A + 1 major B
2 major A
|Suspected CP||1 major A + < 3 minor
1 major B + ≥ 3 minor
≥ 5 minor
|Possible CP||3 oder 4 minor, no major
Major B +/- < 3 minor
|Normal||<3 minor*,no major|
CP, chronic pancreatitis.
* With the exception of hyperechoic foci without acoustic shadows, cysts, dilated main duct and dilated side ducts.
The above systems make it possible to assess the likelihood that chronic pancreatitis is present, but do not allow any assessment of the severity of the disease. The Cambridge classification , initially developed using endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), is used to assess severity (Table 4). The EUS criteria used here are almost identical with the “classic criteria.” However, the ductal and parenchymal changes are not viewed separately from one another, and instead it is the combination of pathologies that is used to assess the degree of severity.
Table 4 Cambridge classification for assessing the degree of severity of chronic pancreatitis on EUS
|Cambridge 1||Lobulated texture with honeycombing, duct < 3 mm|
|Cambridge 2||Hyperechoic duct, hyperechoic foci, echo-dense contour, duct < 3 mm|
|Cambridge 3||Honeycomb lobulation, septated, hyperechoic foci, duct &bt; 3 mm, irregular duct, no ductal stones|
|Cambridge 4||As 3, plus calcifications, ductal stones, and cysts|
Images of pathological conditions seen on EUS in patients with chronic pancreatitis, and classification of the findings using the Cambridge classification
Hyperechoic foci with and without
Dilated, irregular duct
Hyperechoic contour on the main duct,
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