PURPOSE: To quantitatively evaluate and validate a two-phase helical computed tomographic (CT) protocol for evaluation of pancreatic tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven patients with pathologically proved pancreatic adenocarcinomas prospectively underwent two-phase CT examination with helical acquisition during the pancreatic phase (40-70 seconds after infusion of intravenous contrast material at 3 mL/sec) and the hepatic phase (70100 seconds after infusion). Mean CT attenuation values of tumor, bordering pancreas, and all major peripancreatic vessels were obtained for both time intervals. RESULTS: Mean tumor-pancreas contrast was significantly greater during the pancreatic phase (67 HU ± 19) than the hepatic phase (39 HU ± 16) (P < .001). This was the result of both greater enhancement of normal pancreas and lower tumor enhancement during the pancreatic phase. Opacification of all vascular structures, including the portal vein, was also greater during the pancreatic phase (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Two-phase helical CT with pancreatic phase acquisition provides statistically significantly better pancreatic, arterial, and portal venous enhancement than that of hepatic phase imaging, with improved tumor-pancreas contrast.
- Arteries, mesenteric
- Computed tomography (CT), helical
- Computed tomograpy (CT), contrast enhancement
- Liver, CT
- Pancreas, CT
- Pancreas, neoplasms
- Veins, mesenteric