Purpose: To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of CT in assessing extraregional lymph node metastases in pancreatic head and periampullary cancer.
Materials and Methods: This prospective observational cohort study was performed at two tertiary hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) referral centers between March 2013 and December 2014. Patients undergoing pancreatoduodenectomy or bypass surgery with or without palliative radiofrequency ablation were included. Extraregional lymph node involvement was defined as positive lymph nodes in the aortocaval window. Two expert HPB radiologists assessed aortocaval lymph nodes at preoperative CT according to a standardized protocol. All tissue from the aortocaval window was collected intraoperatively. Positive histopathologic finding was the reference standard. Analysis of predictive values and diagnostic accuracy was performed.
Results: A total of 198 consecutive patients (mean age, 66 years; range, 39-86 years; 105 men) with pancreatic head or periampullary carcinoma were included. In 70% of patients, a pancreatoduodenectomy was performed, 4% underwent total pancreatectomy, 4% underwent radiofrequency ablation, and 22% underwent bypass surgery. Forty-four patients (22%) had histologically positive aortocaval lymph nodes. Negative predictive value of CT in assessing aortocaval lymph nodes was 80% for both observers, and positive predictive value was 31%-33%. Overall diagnostic accuracy was 69%-70%.
Conclusion: CT has a low diagnostic accuracy in assessing extraregional lymph node metastases in patients suspected of having pancreatic or periampullary cancer.Keywords: CT, Abdomen/GI, Pancreas, Oncology© RSNA, 2021.