Background: Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) is a recently introduced field of ultrasonography (US). To assess the ability of CEUS to identify the vascularization of solid pancreatic tumors in comparison to helical CT. Methods: Forty-two resected pancreatic tumors, found at US, were studied with CEUS and helical CT. The tumor enhancement at CEUS was scored in comparison to the baseline aspect of the lesion and/or the extralesional pancreatic parenchyma together with the adjacent vessels during the dynamic study. All the lesions underwent pathological examination using H&E stains and CD34 markers with an evaluation of the microvessel density (MVD). The correlation of CEUS and helical CT with the MVD of the lesions was established with Spearman's test. Results: The correlation of CEUS with the MVD of the lesions was significantly superior (Rs = 0.914; p <0.0001) to that of helical CT (Rs = 0.635; p <0.0001). Conclusions: CEUS is better than helical CT in the identification of the vascularization of solid pancreatic tumors. CEUS, when the pancreatic gland is optimally visualized, should be therefore considered a complementary imaging modality in the characterization of pancreatic tumors. CEUS can be a valid onco-imaging modality for quantifying tumoral vascularization in a noninvasive and accurate way.
- Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography
- Helical computed tomography
- Microvessel density
- Pancreatic tumors
ASJC Scopus subject areas