Liver and Pancreas Scans

J. Michael Uszler, MD
JAMA. 1974;230(10):1387. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240100016010.
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To the Editor.—  The letter of Capurro and Gray (229:763, 1964), regarding protection against chemical exposure, implied both that the liver and pancreas scan was abnormal and that this abnormality might be indicative of organ damage. I suggest caution regarding the interpretation of such scans. The liver scan shows the technical artifacts of excessive optical density, respiratory motion, and time-constant scalloping, with the additional suggestion of excessive contrast enhancement. These factors could easily account for the suggested diminution in liver size and the "irregular concave profile" of the lower margin of the liver. No further commentary regarding this type of abnormality has been made by the authors.1,2The pancreas scan displayed "uneven isotope uptake" but here also technical factors can lead to improper observation of radionuclide distribution.3 It does appear true that an "abnormal" pancreas scan does represent at least a 50% chance of carcinoma and close to


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