One of the defined objectives of the consortium for the study of Chronic Pancreatitis (CP), Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer is to propose studies evaluating non-invasive methods to detect and quantify pancreatic fibrosis. Characteristic features of CP may be absent on standard imaging studies. Preliminary data suggest that certain features on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) not currently used in clinical practice (T1 relaxation time, extracellular volume [ECV] fraction, T1-weighted gradient echo signal intensity ratio [SIR], diffusion-weighted imaging [DWI] and apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC]) are useful for the diagnosis of CP. However, limited data exist in normal subjects or those with definite CP. We hypothesize that MRI can serve as a valuable non- invasive tool to detect CP, even in the early stages of the disease. We propose the following specific aims (SA) to meet this objective, with all patients to be recruited from the consortium?s ?PROCEED? study. SA#1: As the primary endpoint, we will evaluate the role of T1 relaxation properties of the pancreatic parenchyma on T1 mapping in the assessment of CP. This study will be the first to measure the normal T1 relaxation time of the pancreas in no pancreas disease controls. As secondary endpoints, we will evaluate T1-weighted gradient echo SIR, ECV fraction, arterio-venous enhancement ratio, ADC, MR elastography, volume/atrophy, pancreatic steatosis, ductal features (narrowing/stricture, dilation, filling defects, side branch dilation) and pancreatic exocrine output after secretin stimulation. This will be the first prospective study to evaluate ECV fraction, and the most comprehensive study performed in well-phenotyped groups of patients for pancreatic MR elastography and other imaging features. SA#2: We will combine the results from the primary and secondary endpoints to generate a composite scoring system. We will demonstrate that an increased number of features will correlate with a diagnosis of advanced or definite CP with higher sensitivityand specificity. Furthermore, we anticipate that cumulative MRI features may allow the diagnosis of early CP and serve as a surrogate marker for the quantification of pancreatic fibrosis. Lastly, as an exploratory aim, we will obtain pilot data in 60 patients with suspected CP, evaluating the same techniques, parameters, and endpoints as in SA#1 and #2. These data will allow for sample size calculation for a future larger study evaluating the role of MRI in suspected vs. definite CP. We propose that MRI may be used as a biomarker to assess disease progression, utilizing a subset of patients who undergo follow-up MR evaluation.

Public Health Relevance

Characteristic features of chronic pancreatitis (CP) may be absent on standard diagnostic tests or imaging studies, particularly early in the course of the disease. Preliminary data suggest that certain features on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) not currently used in clinical practice are useful for the diagnosis of CP, suggesting that MRI may be a more available and clinically useful, non-invasive tool in the assessment of early CP. While ductal changes noted on MRCP have traditionally been used to diagnose and grade CP, this study aims to demonstrate that MRI can detect parenchymal abnormalities related to CP as well, and may serve as a biomarker of pancreatic fibrosis and disease progression.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Clinical, Integrative and Molecular Gastroenterology Study Section (CIMG)
Program Officer
Serrano, Jose
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code