Objectives: The role of computed tomography (CT) for the staging of gastric carcinoma is controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of CT in assessing the perigastric spread of advanced gastric carcinoma.
Methods: The study included 56 patients who underwent dynamic CT and laparotomy for the treatment of node-positive gastric adenocarcinoma. Preoperative CT findings were compared with surgical findings, and diagnostic accuracy was estimated.
Results: Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of preoperative CT in determining the perigastric tumor spreads were 33, 97, and 73% in pancreatic invasion, 36, 97, and 70% in level III lymph node involvement, and 89, 98, and 96% in liver metastasis. Peritoneal dissemination was not detected in 15 of 56 patients (27%), and stage IV disease was not diagnosed correctly in 18 of 40 patients (45%).
Conclusions: Radiologists and surgeons must remember that pancreatic invasion, extended lymph node metastasis, and peritoneal dissemination are sometimes overlooked in CT examination in patients with advanced gastric carcinoma.