Tear drop sign of the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) is one of the important signs in the staging of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Its importance lies in its diagnosis as well as prognostic significance. This sign is used in assessing the resectability of pancreatic cancer.
In pancreatic head carcinomas invasion occurs with encasement of the portal vein and the superior mesenteric vein, this tethering of mass to superior mesenteric vein gives the tear drop appearance of SMV. The presence of sign indicates the unresectability of the tumour.
There are several other tear drops, please see the disambiguation article here.
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