CT scanning has a greater than 90% accuracy in staging patients with pancreatic cancer. New, powerful imaging techniques, such as spiral CT and gadolinium-enhanced MRI, can evaluate subtle changes in pancreatic contours and overall vascularity of the gland to further increase staging reliability. Spiral CT in particular provides excellent depiction of small vessels, high levels of pancreatic enhancement, and lack of respiratory misregistration. High resolution contrast-enhanced MR techniques may provide a new role for MR imaging in the evaluation of pancreatic cancer. This article discusses state- of-the-art CT and MR imaging techniques for pancreatic evaluation.
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