Physical examination: By pressing on the center of the belly, a doctor might check for a mass in the pancreas. He or she can also look for other signs of pancreas conditions.
Computed tomography scan: A CT scanner takes multiple X-rays, and a computer creates detailed images of the pancreas and abdomen. Contrast dye may be injected into your veins to improve the images.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Magnetic waves create highly detailed images of the abdomen. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is an MRI that focuses on the pancreas, liver, and bile system.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Using a camera on a flexible tube advanced from the mouth to the intestine, a doctor can access the area of the pancreas head. Tiny surgical tools can be used to diagnose and treat some pancreas conditions.
Pancreas biopsy: Either using a needle through the skin or a surgical procedure, a small piece of pancreas tissue is removed to look for cancer or other conditions.
Ultrasound: A probe is placed on the belly, and harmless sound waves create images by reflecting off the pancreas and other organs.
Amylase and lipase: Blood tests showing elevated levels of these pancreatic enzymes can suggest pancreatitis.
Sweat chloride test: A painless electric current stimulates the skin to sweat, and the chloride in perspiration is measured. People with cystic fibrosis often have high sweat chloride levels.
Genetic testing: Many different mutations of a single gene can cause cystic fibrosis. Genetic testing can help identify if an adult is an unaffected carrier or if a child will develop cystic fibrosis.