Positron-emission tomography and computed tomography of cystic pancreatic masses

M. Tann, K. Sandrasegaran, S. G. Jennings, A. Skandarajah, L. McHenry, C. M. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Aim: To investigate the sensitivity and specificity of computed tomography (CT), positron-emission tomography (PET), and both methods in combination, for determining whether cystic pancreatic tumours are malignant. Materials and methods: We retrospectively identified all patients with cystic pancreatic tumours who underwent separate PET and contrast-enhanced CT examinations within a 1-month interval. Tumours were classified as benign or malignant on CT (two radiologists, independently), PET [a reported standardized uptake value (SUV) of 2.5 was taken as the cut-off between benign and malignant], and with PET and CT images together (two radiologists, in consensus). Readers were blinded to pathological and other radiological findings. Mean patient age and lesion size were compared between benign and malignant groups using Student's t-test. For CT findings, odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using multivariate logistic regression models. For CT, PET, and the combined images, sensitivities and specificities were calculated, and compared between groups using Fisher's exact test. Results: Thirty patients were identified. The best CT predictor of malignancy was size; mean diameter was 2.3 cm (benign) and 4.1 cm (malignant) (p < 0.01); OR was 2.80 (95% CI, 1.26-6.20). Sensitivities of CT, PET and combined PET/CT images were 67-71, 57, and 86%, respectively. PET/CT was more sensitive than PET (p < 0.01) or CT (p < 0.01) alone. Specificities of CT, PET, and combined PET/CT images were 87-90, 65, and 91%, respectively. PET/CT was more specific than PET (p < 0.01) but not CT (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The sensitivity and specificity of combined PET and CT images is comparable with or superior to either CT or PET alone in determining malignancy in cystic pancreatic lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-751
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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