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A Preliminary Investigation of Normal Pancreas and Acute Pancreatitis Elasticity Using Virtual Touch Tissue Quantification (VTQ) Imaging

Juan Xie, Liling Zou, Minghua Yao, Guang Xu, Lixia Zhao, Huixiong Xu, Rong Wu

Department of Ultrasound in Medicine, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, Zhabei, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1693-1699

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.892239

Available online:

Published: 2015-06-11

Background: The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the use of elastometry in healthy volunteers and patients with acute pancreatitis using virtual touch tissue quantification (VTQ) imaging technology performed on the pancreas.
Material and Methods: We enrolled 210 healthy volunteers and 44 acute pancreatitis patients in the study between March 2012 and June 2013. Healthy subjects were divided into 3 groups: young (18–30 years), middle-aged (30–50 years), and elderly (>50 years). VTQ was performed on the pancreatic head and body regions to obtain shear wave velocity (SWV) measurements, which were used to evaluate the elasticity values of tissues.
Results: The pancreatic head SWV value in the whole healthy group was 1.18±0.23 m/s, and that in the pancreatic body was 1.21±0.20 m/s. In patients with acute pancreatitis, the mean SWV measurements at the head were 1.18±0.20 m/s, compared to 1.25±0.19 m/s in the pancreatic body. There was no statistically significant difference between whole healthy volunteers and the acute pancreatitis group.
Conclusions: VTQ is a new method that shows promise for the quantification of pancreatic elasticity, but further studies are warranted.

Keywords: Age Factors, Adult, Elasticity - physiology, Elasticity Imaging Techniques - standards, Pancreas - physiology, Pancreatitis - pathology