Multidetector CT of pancreatic adenocarcinoma: diagnostic advances and therapeutic relevance

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Detection and staging of pancreatic malignancies remains a challenge for radiologists. Considering the poor prognosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, accurate preoperative staging is the key to a possibly curative surgical treatment. Contrast-enhanced helical CT has been the most commonly used for evaluation of pancreatic cancer in many institutions, although it suffers from many limitations. With the fast pace of advances in multidetector CT (MDCT), and the beginning clinical implementation of 16-row scanners, improvements in spatial resolution in the z-axis with near-isotropic imaging provide exquisite multiplanar reconstructions of pancreatic anatomy. This article provides an overview of current MDCT technique and protocols for assessment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and describes new 3D-display methods for effective visualization of large data sets provided by MDCT.

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