21.06.2022 | Gastrointestinal
Assessment of main pancreatic duct cutoff with dilatation, but without visible pancreatic focal lesion on MDCT: a novel diagnostic approach for malignant stricture using a CT-based nomogram
Chae Young Lim, Ji Hye Min, Jeong Ah Hwang, Seo-Youn Choi, Seong Eun Ko
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To identify useful features to predict hidden pancreatic malignancies in patients with main pancreatic duct (MPD) abrupt cutoff and dilatation, but without visible focal pancreatic lesions on CT.
This retrospective study included 92 patients (mean age, 63.4 ± 10.6 years, 63 men and 29 women) with MPD abrupt cutoff and dilatation, but without visible focal pancreatic lesion on contrast-enhanced CT between 2009 and 2021. Two radiologists independently evaluated the CT imaging features. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify clinical and CT imaging features for hidden pancreatic malignancies. A nomogram was developed based on these results and assessed its performance.
Thirty-eight (41.3%) and 54 (58.7%) were classified into the malignant and benign groups, respectively. In the multivariable analysis, CA19-9 elevation (odds ratio [OR] 7.5, p = 0.003), duct cutoff site at the head/neck (OR 7.6, p = 0.006), parenchymal contour abnormality at the duct cutoff site (OR 13.7, p < 0.001), and presence of acute pancreatitis (OR 11.5, p = 0.005) were independent predictors of pancreatic malignancy. A combination of any two significant features showed an accuracy of 77.2%, and a combination of any three features exhibited a specificity of 100%. The CT-based nomogram showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.84 (95% confidence interval, 0.77–0.90).
The three CT imaging features and CA19-9 elevation translated into a nomogram permit a reliable estimation of hidden pancreatic malignancies in patients with MPD abrupt cutoff without visible focal pancreatic lesion. It may facilitate determining whether to proceed to further diagnostic tests.
• Isoattenuating pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma can manifest only as an isolated main pancreatic duct (MPD) dilatation with abrupt cutoff, making it difficult to distinguish from benign strictures.
• Along with the serum CA 19-9 elevation, MPD cutoff site at the pancreas head or neck, parenchymal contour abnormality at the duct cutoff site, and associated acute pancreatitis indicated a higher probability of the malignant MPD strictures.
• The CT-based nomogram provided excellent diagnostic performance (AUC of 0.84) for hidden pancreatic malignancies in patients with MPD abrupt cutoff and dilatation.