Pancreatic carcinoma: the role of high-resolution multislice spiral CT in the diagnosis and assessment of resectability

Eur Radiol. 2003 Jan;13(1):149-56. doi: 10.1007/s00330-002-1473-4. Epub 2002 Jul 18.


The purpose of our study was to evaluate multislice computed tomography (MSCT) in the assessment of patients with clinical, laboratory, and US suspicion of pancreatic neoplasm, and to evaluate resectability status. Forty-six patients with a suspected pancreatic tumor underwent MSCT. After a preliminary precontrast survey, a postcontrast scan was performed in the arterial and portal venous phase with the following protocol: 4 x 1-mm collimation; 1.25- and 5-mm slice thickness width, respectively, and 1- and 5-mm reconstruction interval. In all patients pathological correlation was obtained. The evaluation of all images provided a diagnosis in 44 patients, with a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 97, 80, and 96%, respectively. The MSCT correctly provided a diagnosis of unresectability with sensitivity of 96%, specificity of 86%, and accuracy of 93%. Evaluation of 1-mm slices demonstrated 83 of the 91 liver metastases found at surgery; conversely, the 5-mm slices detected only 76 of these lesions. Infiltration of peripancreatic major vessels was demonstrated, and was confirmed at surgery in 18 patients. High-resolution MSCT improves prediction of resectability in patients with suspected pancreatic carcinoma. Parenchymal and vascular information can be achieved with a single MSCT examination.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Radiography, Abdominal
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed*


  • Contrast Media