This patients pain is suspicious for chronic pancreatitis, and his pancreas should be evaluated. In addition, patients with chronic pancreatitis from any cause are at increased risk for developing pancreatic adenocarcinoma. A CT scan can be useful to evaluate the pancreas for changes consistent with chronic pancreatitis or a mass lesion. He may have steatorrhea from pancreatic exocrine failure, which would explain his loose stools, but a 72-hour stool collection to check for fecal fat would be more valuable once a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis is established. Endoscopy and colonoscopy could be considered if his CT scan results are normal, as he could have peptic ulcer disease or colitis.
- CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis.
Click here to return to the questions
Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
Copyright © 2009, Turner White Communications
Updated 1/04/08 kkj