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, 18 (2), 369-78

CT Characteristics of Metastatic Disease of the Pancreas


CT Characteristics of Metastatic Disease of the Pancreas

K A Klein et al. Radiographics.


Contrast material-enhanced computed tomographic (CT) scans obtained over a 10-year period in 66 patients with metastases to the pancreas were retrospectively reviewed. The primary tumors most commonly responsible for these metastases were renal cell carcinoma (30.3%) and bronchogenic carcinoma (22.7%). Metastases showed no predilection for any particular part of the pancreas. The majority (75.8%) of metastases appeared as tumors with discrete margins, and most of these tumors were round or ovoid with smooth borders. Over three-fourths of the lesions demonstrated enhancement (usually heterogeneous). Vascular involvement was uncommon. In those patients in whom pancreatic metastases were discovered some time after the primary tumor was identified, the interval ranged from 2 to 295 months, with the longest mean interval (120.2 months) being associated with metastatic tumors from renal cell carcinoma. The appearance of these tumors at CT--predominantly hyperattenuating masses, often with nonenhancing internal components--was similar to that of primary renal cell carcinoma. In most pancreatic metastases, however, clinical information in conjunction with CT characteristics such as multiplicity of tumors or hypervascularity permit differentiation of metastases from primary neoplasm. When diagnosis of a pancreatic neoplasm is uncertain, percutaneous biopsy often permits histologic confirmation of the tumor type.

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