Pancreatic endocrine tumors: tumor blood flow assessed with perfusion CT reflects angiogenesis and correlates with prognostic factors

Radiology. 2009 Feb;250(2):407-16. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2501080291. Epub 2008 Dec 18.


Purpose: To prospectively correlate multidetector computed tomographic (CT) perfusion measurement of pancreatic endocrine tumors with tumor microvascular density (MVD) assessed by using histologic techniques and to determine whether perfusion CT parameters differ between tumor grades.

Materials and methods: Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained. Thirty-six patients (15 men, 21 women; mean age, 53 years; range, 18-78 years) with resectable pancreatic endocrine tumors underwent presurgical dynamic perfusion CT. Twenty-eight (78%) of 36 patients were included in the study group; eight were excluded because of artifacts that were not compatible with perfusion postprocessing. Multidetector CT perfusion data were analyzed to calculate tumor and normal pancreatic blood flow, blood volume, mean transit time, and permeability-surface area product. Multidetector CT perfusion parameters were compared with intratumoral MVD by using the Spearman correlation coefficient and with World Health Organization (WHO) classification, tumor size, tumor proliferation index, hormonal profile, and presence of metastases by using Mann-Whitney tests.

Results: High correlation (r = 0.620, P < .001) was observed between tumor blood flow and intratumoral MVD. Blood flow was significantly higher (P = .02) in the group of benign tumors (WHO 1) than in the groups of tumors of indeterminate prognosis (WHO 2) or well-differentiated carcinomas (WHO 3). Blood flow was significantly higher in tumors with a proliferation index of 2% or less (P = .005) and in those without histologic signs of microscopic vascular involvement (P = .008). Mean transit time was longer in tumors with lymph node (P = .02) or liver (P = .05) metastasis.

Conclusion: Perfusion CT is feasible in patients with pancreatic endocrine tumors and reflects MVD. Perfusion CT measurements are correlated with histoprognostic factors, such as proliferation index and WHO classification.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*