Non-neoplastic conditions mimicking peritoneal carcinomatosis at CT imaging

Br J Radiol. 2020 Sep 1;93(1113):20200401. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20200401. Epub 2020 Jul 3.


The general appearance of peritoneal carcinomatosis at abdominal CT and other cross-sectional imaging modalities consists of varying amounts of peritoneal-based soft tissue implants (mass-forming or infiltrative), peritoneal fluid, and occasionally calcification. However, a wide variety of common and uncommon neoplastic and non-neoplastic conditions can closely mimic peritoneal carcinomatosis at imaging. Neoplastic mimics of peritoneal carcinomatosis include primary peritoneal and sub peritoneal tumors, as well as peritoneal lymphomatosis and sarcomatosis.Broad categories of non-neoplastic mimics of peritoneal carcinomatosis include tumor-like conditions, systemic processes, atypical infections, and fat-based conditions. For many entities, suggestive or specific patient information and/or CT imaging findings exist that may allow the radiologist to narrow the differential diagnosis. In this article, we review the salient clinical and cross-sectional imaging features of non-neoplastic mimics of peritoneal carcinomatosis and malignancy, with emphasis on the CT findings and the additional clues that may suggest the correct benign diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*