Your doctor will diagnose acute pancreatitis based on:
A physical examination
Certain laboratory tests
Blood tests usually reveal high levels of two pancreatic enzymes.
In some cases, a computed tomography (CT) scan may be done. The scan can identify swelling of the pancreas and accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.
The scan also may show whether you have pancreatic pseudocysts. Pseudocysts are pockets of digestive enzymes. They develop in some cases of severe pancreatitis or after repeated attacks. Serious complications can result if the pseudocysts burst and spill enzymes onto vulnerable tissues.
If gallstones are suspected, an ultrasound examination of the gallbladder may be performed.