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Perfusion assessment of the pancreas is challenging and poorly evaluated. Pancreatic affection is a prevalent feature of cystic fibrosis (CF). Little is known about pancreatic perfusion in CF. We aimed to assess pancreatic perfusion by contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) analysed in the bolus-and-burst model and software.
We performed contrast enhanced ultrasound of the pancreas in 25 CF patients and 20 healthy controls. Perfusion data was analysed using a dedicated perfusion model providing the mean capillary transit-time (MTT), blood flow (BF) and blood-volume (BV). CF patients were divided according to exocrine function.
The pancreas insufficient CF patients had longer MTT (p ≤ 0.002), lower BF (p < 0.001) and lower BV (p < 0.05) compared to the healthy controls and sufficient CF patients. Interrater analysis showed substantial agreement for the analysis of mean transit time.
The bolus-and-burst method used on pancreatic CEUS-examinations demonstrates reduced perfusion in CF patients with pancreas affection. The perfusion model and software requires further optimization and standardization to be clinical applicable for the assessment of pancreatic perfusion.