Objective: To evaluate the performance of multidetector computed tomographic angiography (MDCTA) in assessing the surgical resectability of pancreatic head adenocarcinoma.
Methods: With institutional review board approval, radiographic, surgical, and pathological records of 203 consecutive patients with adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head were analyzed retrospectively. Patients were imaged with MDCT scanners using our institution's CTA pancreatic protocol. Images were compared with surgical outcomes to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of MDCTA in determining resectability.
Results: Data were analyzed twice, once with equivocal findings on MDCTA assumed as resectable and again with equivocal cases assumed as unresectable. All equivocal cases were ultimately unresectable; when this was assumed, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were determined to be 100%, 71%, 85%,100% and 89%. Twelve patients deemed resectable by preoperative MDCTA were found to be unresectable on surgical exploration owing to vascular involvement (n = 4), liver metastases (n = 4), and peritoneal involvement (n = 4).
Conclusions: Multidetector CT angiography offers accurate and valuable preoperative assessment of surgical resectability of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Liver and peritoneal metastases and vascular invasion still remain important pitfalls in preoperative evaluation.