Acute pancreatitisDiagnosis

Acute pancreatitis is usually diagnosed in hospital, where you'll receive treatment and be monitored for any complications.

A doctor will ask you about your symptoms and may feel your tummy – it will be very tender if you have acute pancreatitis.

They'll also do a blood test, and sometimes a CT scan, to help confirm the diagnosis.

At first, it can be difficult to tell whether your acute pancreatitis is mild or severe. You'll be monitored closely for signs of serious problems, such as organ failure.

Further testing

You may have further tests to help determine the severity of your condition and assess your risk of developing more serious complications. These may include:

  • a CT scan – where a series of X-rays are taken to build up a more detailed image of your pancreas
  • an MRI scan – where strong magnetic fields and radio waves are used to produce a detailed image of the inside of your body
  • an ultrasound scan – where sound waves are used to create a picture of your gallbladder to detect gallstones, and a picture of your pancreas

Page last reviewed: 28/10/2018
Next review due: 28/10/2021