Testing & Diagnosis for Acute Pancreatitis in Children

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

How do you diagnose acute pancreatitis?

There is no single test to detect acute pancreatitis. The first step in the diagnosis process typically includes a blood test. This test will reveal whether there are abnormally high levels of enzymes, called amylase and lipase.

Imaging tests that may be done include:

  • An ultrasound examination of your child’s abdomen. An ultrasound will indicate whether the pancreas is swollen or inflamed.
  • A magnetic resonance imaging scan, also known as an MRI. This can help rule out other causes of abdominal pain. An MRI is sometimes used instead of a computed tomography (CT) scan to avoid radiation altogether.
  • A CT scan may be used to help rule out other causes of abdominal pain.

Blood tests and radiology scans, such as ultrasound, CT or MRI, may not always provide a clear-cut diagnosis. When this occurs, your doctor will make a clinical judgment based on your child’s history and the severity of her symptoms.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

Close