Abdominal X-ray

Abnormal calcification

Retroperitoneal calcification

Occasionally you may see calcification of retroperitoneal organs such as the pancreas or adrenals, which only become visible when calcified.

Pancreatic calcification is a feature of chronic pancreatitis.

Adrenal (suprarenal) calcification is an uncommon finding and is usually incidental. Most often it is considered a result of previous haemorrhage or tuberculosis.

Key points

  • Pancreatic calcification is a sign of chronic pancreatitis
  • Adrenal calcification is usually an incidental finding

Other investigations

  • Retroperitoneal calcification can also be seen incidentally with CT
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Chronic pancreatitis

  • This X-ray shows soft tissue calcification which follows the anatomical position of the pancreas
  • Also note calcification of the abdominal aorta which is of normal calibre
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Adrenal calcification

  • The adrenal (suprarenal) glands form a triangle shape lying directly above the kidneys
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