THE PATIENT with abdominal pain suspected of harboring pancreatic carcinoma presents a vexing diagnostic problem. The pancreas, hidden deep in the retroperitoneal space, defies the physician's attempts to palpate and probe. The usual history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and roentgen studies may contribute disappointingly little. Even the more difficult procedures of selective arteriography, duodenal drainage and cytologic studies, transhepatic cholangiography, or hypotonic duodenography may not establish the diagnosis.1 There are also diagnostic dilemmas for the surgeon at the time of exploratory laporotomy and for the pathologist during examination of a frozen section.2
While scanning with radioactive nuclides has proven useful for visualization of many of the body organs, no radioactive pharmaceutical for visualizing the pancreas was found until 1961 when Blau and Manske developed selenomethionine Se 75.3 The exocrine pancreas uses the sulfur-containing amino acid, methionine, to synthesize essential digestive enzymes. The stable sulfur can be replaced
Saldino RM, Mishkin FS. Pancreatic Scanning: Its Role in the Evaluation of Pancreatic Disease. Arch Surg. 1968;97(4):558–561. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01340040054007
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