To evaluate the use of helical computed tomography (CT) in diagnosing portal vein (PV) invasion by pancreatic head carcinoma and its usefulness in predicting outcome.
Validation cohort study.
Tertiary care public hospital.
Twenty-seven patients with carcinoma involving the pancreatic head were preoperatively studied with helical CT. All patients underwent resection.
Main Outcome Measure
By quantifying the contact between the tumor and PV on helical CT, the relationship between them was classified into 1 of 4 types: type 1, visible fat layer between PV and the tumor; type 2, with the total PV circumference defined as 360°, contact between the tumor and PV was considered to be 90° or less; type 3, contact ranged between 91° and 180°; and type 4, contact greater than 180°. Helical CT results were compared with intraoperative observation, histological findings of the resected specimen, and postoperative course.
When helical CT showed type 3 or 4, the case was diagnosed as positive for PV invasion. Sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy were 83%, 100%, and 89% when compared with the intraoperative assessment, and 92%, 79%, and 85% with the histological assessment, respectively. One- and 2-year survival rates were 86% and 69% for type 1, 100% and 75% for type 2, and 33% and 12% for type 3, respectively. The survival rates of patients with types 1 and 2 were significantly higher than that of those with type 3 (P<.05). All 3 patients with type 4 died within 9 months.
Helical CT facilitates detection of PV invasion by pancreatic head carcinoma. The extent of PV involvement reflected the outcome after pancreatectomy.