The pancreas of a healthy person with a sonogram has a uniform structure, and its image on the monitor screen has almost the same brightness, called echogenicity in a medical environment. Her contours, the position and size of the head and tail, as well as the hook-shaped process are clearly visible.
All parts of this healthy person's body have certain dimensions, which are also checked by ultrasound. A deviation from the norm is considered an increase in the size of individual parts of the pancreas and the detection of an inhomogeneous structure of its tissues.
Detection of diffuse heterogeneity of the pancreas indicates various diseases, including pancreatitis of varying severity and diabetes mellitus. It is important where the diffuse heterogeneity is found: in the head, tail or body of the pancreas, it is enlarged or reduced, what its duct looks like and how vast are the areas of diffuse heterogeneity.
It should be noted that diffusely heterogeneous changes may have a different character, due to changes in the parenchyma. So, for example, diffuse heterogeneity can be caused by edema caused by the inflammatory process, which is characteristic for the onset of chronic pancreatitis, which is not yet burdened by necrosis of the parenchyma and the formation of pseudocysts. At the same time, its contours can be slightly blurred, and the dimensions enlarged.
If chronic pancreatitis is caused by diseases of the stomach and gallbladder, then during the ultrasound is likely to detect diffuse heterogeneity and these organs due to their edema and an increase in size.
In acute pancreatitis, the pancreas can be diffusely heterogeneous due to the formation of pseudocysts filled with dead cells and blood. In this case, the tissues in which they are located may be edematic and enlarged in size. If acute pancreatitis is caused by a difficulty in the outflow of pancreatic juices, provoked by stones in the duct, it can also be detected by detecting diffusely inhomogeneous changes in the pancreas.
By the location and form of diffusely heterogeneous changes, one can suspect the presence of tumors, the formation of cysts, as well as purulent foci of parenchyma inflammation. However, the exact diagnosis can be made only with additional laboratory tests.