Age-relatedchanges in the ultrasound appearance of the normal feline pancreas. Academic Article uri icon


  • In humans, pancreatic hyperechogenicity and duct dilation are reported as normal aging changes. Similar changes have been reported with pancreatitis in the cat. We attempted to determine if aging changes occur in the ultrasound appearance of the normal feline pancreas. The pancreas of 84 normal (based on history, physical exam, biochemical profile, and feline trypsin-like immunoreactivity and pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity concentrations) cats of varying ages was scanned. Pancreatic width at the left limb and body, pancreatic duct diameter at left limb and body, and pancreatic echogenicity compared with liver and surrounding fat were noted and compared with age and body weight. Lower and upper limits of the 95% reference intervals for pancreatic left limb width were 2.6 and 9.5 mm, and 3.5 and 8.5 mm for the pancreatic body width. There was no significant difference in pancreatic width between the left limb and body. Lower and upper limits of the 95% reference interval for the diameter of the pancreatic duct at the left limb and body were similar, and were 0.65 and 2.5 mm. There was a weak but significant linear correlation between pancreatic duct diameter and age, with increasing pancreatic duct diameter with increasing age. There was no correlation of pancreatic width with age, and no correlation of pancreatic echogenicity with age or body weight. Based on this study, feline pancreatic size and echogenicity do not change with age. Pancreatic duct diameter increases slightly with age and should not be used as a sole indicator of pancreatitis in the geriatric cat.

published proceedings

  • Vet Radiol Ultrasound

author list (cited authors)

  • Larson, M. M., Panciera, D. L., Ward, D. L., Steiner, J. M., & Williams, D. A.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Larson, Martha Moon||Panciera, David L||Ward, Daniel L||Steiner, Jörg M||Williams, David A

publication date

  • May 2005