HealthDiseases and Conditions

Increased echogenicity of the pancreas: what does it mean

Echogenicity is an important indicator when examining the internal organs of the human body. With its help it is possible to estimate the density of the object under study. If the organ increases or decreases echogenicity, this is an occasion to turn to specialists. For example, increased echogenicity of the pancreas - what does it mean, what actions need to be taken in case of its detection.

The gallbladder, the glands of internal secretion, the bladder, all kinds of cysts, etc. are liquid structures. They are uniform, and therefore waves of ultrasound pass freely through them, while not reflecting them. That is, such liquid structures are echo negative, even if the power of ultrasound is amplified. On the contrary, dense structures (bones, concrements, etc.) are echo-positive, since they do not transmit ultrasound through themselves, completely reflecting it. In carrying out the study, a parenchyma of the liver is taken as a sample of echogenicity. It is with its indicators that the echogenicity of such organs as kidneys, pancreas is compared . Among other organs capable of reflecting ultrasound signals, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, etc.

If in the medical document during the research you wrote "increased echogenicity of the pancreas," the doctor may suspect an inflammatory process or the appearance of edema. Among the diseases of this organ, which change echogenicity, also enhanced gas formation, calcification of the gland, tumors of various origin and etiology. A pancreatic tumor may appear due to changes in the cells of the endocrine, exocrine parts. 95% of malignant tumors account for the last group of these cells, whereas from endocrine cells they are much less common.

Echogenicity of the pancreas in the normal state will be uniform. But with pancreatitis (acute, chronic), with portal hypertension, the echogenicity of the parenchyma of the gland increases. If the size of this organ is not increased, and the echogenicity of the pancreas is increased, this may indicate a lipomatosis, when part of its tissues are replaced by fat. Sometimes such a disease occurs in elderly patients with diabetes mellitus.

With a decrease in the size of the gland, such diffuse changes can speak of fibrosis, that is, replacement of the gland tissues with a fibrous (connective) tissue. Most often this happens when a person has had inflammation in the pancreas or has a metabolic disorder.

Increased echogenicity of the pancreas, along with other results of research and examination of the patient give the doctor the opportunity to make an accurate diagnosis. On the basis of only one ultrasound, which diagnosed "pancreas echogenicity is increased," treatment is not prescribed, because this symptom may indicate a number of diseases of this organ.

When the pancreas is healthy, it produces more than a liter of pancreatic juice per day, which helps in digesting food. If an increased echogenicity of the pancreas or other changes in the activity of the organ is detected, digestion is disturbed, which leads to serious health problems. After all, the digestive juice produced by the pancreas, in addition to digesting fats, carbohydrates, proteins, also produces insulin, which helps the tissues to fully absorb glucose. It is not for nothing that the pancreas is also called a secretory organ (external and internal). Therefore, it is so important to start treatment on time if the doctor told you after the examination that the echogenicity of the pancreas has increased.

Any changes in the pancreas, revealed during the ultrasound, must be confirmed by other diagnostic examinations. Only after this, complex therapy is prescribed.

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