Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the usefulness of dynamic sonography in the characterization of pancreatic tumors.
Materials and methods: IV contrast-enhanced pancreatic sonography (dynamic sonography) with Levovist was performed in 43 patients with pancreatic mass lesions (32 with pancreatic adenocarcinomas, four with inflammatory pancreatic masses, three with islet cell tumors, two with serous cystadenomas, one with a solid and cystic tumor, and one with metastatic pancreatic cancer). We calculated a contrast index using a time-intensity curve: contrast index equals elevation of intensity in the tumor divided by elevation of intensity in the pancreatic parenchyma. We classified the tumors into three groups according to the contrast index: a slightly enhanced group (contrast index < 0.5), a moderately enhanced group (contrast index = 0.5-1.5), and a well-enhanced group (contrast index > 1.5), and we compared these results with those from dynamic CT.
Results: The contrast indexes of 32 adenocarcinomas, four inflammatory pancreatic masses, three islet cell tumors, two serous cystadenomas, one solid and cystic tumor, and one metastatic tumor were, respectively, 0.12 +/- 0.095 (mean +/- SD), 0.54 +/- 0.420, 1.74 +/- 0.555, 1.09 +/- 1.380, 1.67, and 2.07. Thirty-five tumors, including all 32 adenocarcinomas, were classified in the slightly enhanced group, three were classified in the moderately enhanced group, and five were classified in the well-enhanced group. In 93% (40/43) of tumors, the grade of enhancement on dynamic sonography was closely correlated with the grade of enhancement on dynamic CT.
Conclusion: Dynamic sonography can assist in the characterization of pancreatic tumors.