Potentially resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma: spiral CT assessment with surgical and pathologic correlation

Radiology. 1995 Nov;197(2):381-5. doi: 10.1148/radiology.197.2.7480681.


Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy of spiral computed tomography (CT) in assessing the resectability of small pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and to correlate the CT findings with histopathologic and surgical findings.

Materials and methods: Spiral CT scans obtained in 64 patients who underwent surgery for potentially resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma were prospectively assessed for tumor resectability. CT findings were correlated with surgically assessed extent of tumor and pathologic findings.

Results: Fifty-seven (89%) of 64 carcinomas were detected with spiral CT. Twenty-four carcinomas were resectable at surgery and 40 were not. The average size of resectable tumors was 3.1 cm (range, 1.0-7.5 cm). The overall accuracy of spiral CT for assessing resectability was 70%. Of resected tumors, 14 were hypoattenuating compared with the remaining pancreas and 10 were isoattenuating. Eleven tumors showed neointimal proliferation in arterioles at histologic examination.

Conclusion: Further progress in preoperative staging of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma with spiral CT should be directed toward improving detection of small pancreatic tumors and assessment of early metastatic disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood supply
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arterioles / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Pancreas / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatectomy*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pancreatic Ducts / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tunica Intima / pathology