BACKGROUND: High-quality preoperative radio-graphic evaluation is crucial in selecting patients with periampullary carcinomas who are candidates for surgical exploration and tumor resection while minimizing the rate of unnecessary laparotomy. METHODS: Twenty-one consecutive patients were prospectively investigated using helical computed tomography (CT) scanning, endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), and selective visceral angiography (SVA) to determine tumor resectability. All patients were explored and resectability determined. RESULTS: Helical CT had a sensitivity of 63%, a specificity of 100%, and an overall accuracy of 86%. EUS had a sensitivity of 75%, a specificity of 77%, and an overall accuracy of 76%. SVA had a sensitivity of 38%, a specificity of 92%, and an overall accuracy of 71%. CONCLUSIONS: Helical CT scanning is the best preoperative imaging test to determine tumor resectability. EUS is more sensitive than CT for tumor detection, but underestimates resectability. SVA is no longer helpful in the preoperative evaluation of these malignancies.
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