Diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer: comparison of mangafodipir trisodium-enhanced MR imaging and contrast-enhanced helical hydro-CT

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2002 Sep;179(3):717-24. doi: 10.2214/ajr.179.3.1790717.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare mangafodipir trisodium-enhanced MR imaging performed with a phased array coil and contrast-enhanced single-detector helical CT for accuracy in the detection and local staging of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and in the differentiation between cancer and focal pancreatitis.

Subjects and methods: Forty-two patients with suspected pancreatic masses underwent contrast-enhanced helical CT and mangafodipir trisodium-enhanced MR imaging at 1.5 T. The images were assessed for the presence or absence of tumors; characterization of masses; and presence of vascular invasion, lymph node metastases, or liver metastases. Imaging findings were correlated with findings at laparotomy, laparoscopy, biopsy, or follow-up.

Results: Focal masses were present in 36 patients (cancer, n = 26; focal pancreatitis, n = 7; other, n = 3). The sensitivity for lesion detection of MR imaging was 100% and of CT, 94%. Two small malignant lesions were missed on CT. For the diagnosis of tumor nonresectability, the sensitivity of MR imaging and CT was 90% and 80%, respectively. Liver metastases were missed on MR imaging in one of the eight patients and on CT in four. For differentiation between adenocarcinoma and nonadenocarcinoma, the sensitivity of MR imaging was 100% (positive predictive value, 90%; negative predictive value, 100%), and the sensitivity of CT was 92% (positive predictive value, 80%; negative predictive value, 67%). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the mean area under the curve for MR imaging was 0.920 and for CT, 0.832 (not significant).

Conclusion: Mangafodipir trisodium-enhanced MR imaging is as accurate as contrast-enhanced helical CT for the detection and staging of pancreatic cancer but offers improved detection of small pancreatic metastases and of liver metastases compared with CT.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Media*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Edetic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatitis / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Contrast Media
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate
  • Edetic Acid
  • N,N'-bis(pyridoxal-5-phosphate)ethylenediamine-N,N'-diacetic acid