Chain of lakes sign

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 11 Jan 2021

The chain of lakes sign is a radiological finding describing the appearance of the pancreatic ducts in cases of chronic pancreatitis. Due to repeated inflammation, fibrosis occurs and results in damage and atrophy of the pancreatic tissue as well as dilatation and beading of the main pancreatic duct. In case of additional dilatation of the side branches of the pancreatic duct, the image resembles a chain of lakes "dilated side branches" emanating from the main tributary "dilated main pancreatic duct".

History and etymology

The first mention of the chain of lakes sign in the literature is unclear, although it was clearly well-established when mentioned in an article from 1973 4.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.