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01.07.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2019

Gastric Cancer 4/2019

Gastric sub-epithelial tumors: identification of gastrointestinal stromal tumors using CT with a practical scoring method

Gastric Cancer > Ausgabe 4/2019
Ming Liu, Liheng Liu, Erhu Jin



To determine CT features that can identify gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) among gastric sub-epithelial tumors (SETs) and to explore a practical scoring method.


Sixty-four patients with gastric SETs (51 GISTs and 13 non-GISTs) from hospital I were included for primary analyses, and 92 (67 GISTs and 25 non-GISTs) from hospital II constituted a validation cohort. Pre-operative CT images were reviewed for imaging features: lesion location, growth pattern, lesion margin, enhancement pattern, dynamic pattern, attenuation at each phasic images and presence of necrosis, superficial ulcer, calcification, and peri-lesion enlarged lymph node (LN). Clinical and CT features were compared between the two groups (GISTs versus non-GISTs) and a GIST-risk scoring method was developed; then, its performance for identifying GISTs was tested in the validation cohort.


Seven clinical and CT features were significantly suggestive of GISTs rather than non-GISTs: older age (> 49 years), non-cardial location, irregular margin, lower attenuation on unenhanced images (≤ 43 HU), heterogeneous enhancement, necrosis, and absence of enlarged LN (p < 0.05). At validation step, the established scoring method with cut-off score dichotomized into ≥ 4 versus < 4 for identifying GISTs revealed an AUC of 0.97 with an accuracy of 92%, a sensitivity of 100% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 100%.


Gastric GISTs have special CT and clinical features that differ from non-GISTs. With a simple and practical scoring method based on the significant features, GISTs can be accurately differentiated from non-GISTs.

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