Purpose: To compare findings with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and to determine optimal pulse sequences for MR imaging.
Materials and methods: CT scans and MR images were compared of 189 adult patients with known or suspected adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Levels of confidence were correlated with surgical and pathologic results.
Results: The accuracy of CT was 0.73 and of MR imaging was 0.70. The negative predictive value of CT was 0.28 and of MR imaging was 0.23. The positive predictive value of CT was 0.89 and of MR imaging was 0.88. Gradient-echo and T1-weighted spin-echo sequences ranked equally in evaluation of vascular invasion, T1-weighted spin-echo sequences were preferred for assessing lymphadenopathy, and T2-weighted spin-echo sequences were preferred for detecting hepatic metastases.
Conclusions: Cross-sectional imaging modalities are useful in the identification of unresectable pancreatic carcinoma. CT is recommended for initial imaging assessment.