Purpose: To assess the value of the delayed phase (DP) in pancreatic carcinomas which appear iso-attenuating in the pancreatic parenchymal phase (PPP). Materials and methods: Fifty-seven preoperative MDCT studies of pancreatic carcinomas were retrospectively reviewed. The size of the tumors, and the Hounsfield unit (HU) of the tumors and pancreatic parenchyma were measured. The tumor-to-pancreas contrast (TPC: |HU [tumor] - HU [normal pancreas]|) was calculated. Results: Eight cases (14.0%) showed iso-attenuation and 49 showed hypo-attenuation in the PPP. The DP images revealed seven of eight (87.5%) iso-attenuating tumors to be hyper-attenuating. The size of iso-attenuating tumors was smaller than that of hypo-attenuating tumors (mean ± S.D.: 12.4 ± 4.8 mm vs. 30.3 ± 9.0 mm, p < 0.0001). In hypo-attenuating tumors, TPC in the PPP (60.2 ± 24.6 HU) was higher than those in the portal venous phase (PVP, 40.5 ± 23.0 HU, p < 0.0001) and DP (18.3 ± 11.8 HU, p < 0.0001). In contrast, in iso-attenuating tumors, TPC in the DP (26.0 ± 4.9 HU) was higher than those in the PPP (9.2 ± 3.7 HU, p = 0.0003) and PVP (7.1 ± 4.7 HU, p = 0.001) phases. Conclusion: The DP image is helpful in depicting small iso-attenuating pancreatic carcinomas as slightly hyper-attenuating tumors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes