Contrast-enhanced computed tomography provides diagnostic and prognostic information in patients with acute pancreatitis. To evaluate whether contrast medium may worsen the severity of acute pancreatitis, we have used a model of necrotizing pancreatitis induced by ligating the common bile-pancreatic duct in opossums. Animals were infused with either saline or an ionic contrast agent 48 and 96 hr after induction of pancreatitis. Hyperamylasemia, pancreatic edema, acinar cell fragility, and macroscopic evidence of pancreatitis were comparable in both experimental groups. The microscopic extent of inflammation was similar in both groups, whereas acinar cell injury/necrosis was less in the contrast group. We conclude that administration of this ionic contrast agent during early stages of necrotizing pancreatitis in the opossum does not worsen the disease severity. The concept that administration of contrast medium during early stages of pancreatitis is dangerous should not be accepted until additional experimental and clinical studies support its validity.
- computed tomography
- contrast media