BACKGROUND:: Mesenteric abnormalities are detected on abdominal computed tomography (CT) performed for various indications. GOALS:: Determine the risk of malignancy on follow-up of patients with these abnormalities without a preexisting malignancy. STUDY:: Data were collected on all patients at NorthShore University HealthSystem with abdominal CT scan reports of mesenteric abnormalities labeled as "panniculitis" from January 2005 to April 2010. RESULTS:: Three hundred fifty-nine patients were identified, 81 (22.6%) had a known malignancy at the time of the index abdominal CT scan. Nineteen (6.8%) of the 278 had a new diagnosis of malignancy on evaluation of the findings of the index CT scan. Among the 240 (86.33%) that did not have a notation of the abnormality in their medical record, 11 (4.58%) developed a malignancy during the study period. Sixty-eight of the 248 (24.46%) without a known malignancy had diseases associated with mesenteric abnormalities. The presence of these were associated with a reduction in the likelihood that the abnormalities are associated with new or delayed diagnosis of a malignancy (odds ratio, 0.197; 95% confidence interval, 0.0045-0.8501; P=0.013). Progression of underlying malignancy was unlikely in those where the mesenteric abnormalities did not worsen in appearance on follow-up CT scans (odds ratio, 0.03268; 95% confidence interval, 0.0028-0.3761; P=0.0061). CONCLUSIONS:: In the presence of an underlying disease associated with these findings, the subsequent finding of a malignancy is less likely. In addition, neglect of these findings may result in delayed diagnosis of cancer.
- computed tomography