Value of the single-phase technique in MDCT assessment of pancreatic tumors

Massimo Imbriaco, Alec J. Megibow, Alfonso Ragozzino, Raffaele Liuzzi, Pierpaolo Mainenti, Sara Bortone, Luigi Camera, Marco Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of our study was to determine the diagnostic value of single-phase MDCT in patients with suspected pancreatic carcinoma. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Seventy-one patients (41 men, 30 women; mean age, 63 years; range, 29-80 years) with suspected pancreatic tumor underwent MDCT. Scanning was performed on an MDCT scanner with 0.5-sec gantry rotation and acquisition of 4 slices per rotation. Unenhanced scanning was followed by one set of scanning in the caudocranial direction from the inferior hepatic margin to the diaphragm with a scanning delay of 60 sec after the IV injection of 150 mL of contrast material delivered at 3 mL/sec. Two reviewers independently scored images ih a blinded fashion for the presence of tumor and assessment of resectability. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed. RESULTS. A final histopathologic diagnosis derived from surgical findings was obtained in 42 patients; in the remaining 29 patients, percutaneous fine-needle aspiration biopsy coupled with a 1-year clinical follow-up to determine development of local, regional or distant neoplasm served as gold standard proof of diagnosis. Final diagnosis was pancreatic cancer in 40 patients (27 ductal adenocarcinoma, nine mucinous cystoadenocarcinoma, two neuroendocrine tumors, one lymphoma, and one papillary cystoadenocarcinoma) and chronic pancreatitis in 31. The mean tumor size was 2.4 cm (range, 4-1 cm). Values for the area under the curve (Az) for the assessment of tumor detection were 0.97 for reviewer 1 and 0.96 for reviewer 2 (p = not significant). Az values for tumor resectability were 0.90 for reviewer 1 and 0.90 for reviewer 2 (p = not significant). No statistically significant differences were observed between superior mesenteric artery and vein opacification with the hepatic parenchyma enhanced at a time closer to the peak hepatic enhancement, optimizing the detection of hepatic lesions. CONCLUSION. Thin-section single-phase MDCT is an accurate technique for the diagnosis and assessment of resectability in patients with a suspected pancreatic neoplasm. This technique provides optimal tumor-to-pancreas contrast and maximal pancreatic parenchymal and peripancreatic vascular enhancement. It allows visualization of the entire liver and the whole upper abdomen during the portal phase for accurate identification of liver metastases and peritoneal seeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1117
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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