The pancreas is located deep within the retroperitoneum in the anterior pararenal space. The distal portion of the pancreatic tail extends along the course of the splenic artery and vein (Fig. 1) and enters the splenic hilum contained within the splenorenal ligament. Because of these anatomic relationships, the spleen and splenic vessels may be involved by pancreatitis. Although rare (frequency, 1-5%), splenic involvement by pancreatitis includes intrasplenic pseudocyst, abscess, hemorrhage, infarction, splenic rupture, and vascular injury. Because these complications can be life-threatening, the extent and course of the disease are closely monitored with CT to determine whether and when aggressive intervention is necessary to avoid catastrophic clinical outcomes. The purpose of this essay is to illustrate the spectrum of CT findings in cases of pancreatitis with splenic involvement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging