Multidetector-Row Computed Tomography Angiography for Planning Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy Pump Placement in Patients With Colorectal Metastases to the Liver

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in the preoperative arterial evaluation of patients scheduled to undergo intra-arterial chemotherapy pump placement.


Computed tomography scans of 30 patients with hepatic malignancies who were imaged with multiphase MDCT angiography for intra-arterial chemotherapy pump placement were retrospectively analyzed. Dual-phase helical CT was performed, and the arterial phase images were processed to depict the arterial anatomy and to identify pertinent anomalies. All findings were compared and correlated with surgical findings or catheter angiography if surgery was contraindicated.


Arterial anomalies identified on CT angiography in 20 of 30 patients included a replaced right hepatic artery (RHA; n = 6) or left hepatic artery (LHA; n = 8), a replaced common hepatic artery (n = 1), an accessory RHA (n = 2) or LHA (n = 6), a replaced gastroduodenal artery (GDA; n = 2), an extrahepatic connection between the accessory RHA and the replaced RHA (n = 1), and a common origin composed of the GDA and RHA and LHA (n = 2). There were no additional arteries or anomalies identified by catheter angiography, when available, or during surgery. Only 1 variant, an accessory hepatic artery, was not located during surgery. In 2 patients, the surgical team decided that pump placement was not feasible because of overly complex anatomy as determined by CT angiography. Computed tomography angiography showed an overall sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 97%.


Multidetector computed tomography angiography is accurate for the preoperative evaluation of normal and aberrant hepatic vasculature in patients under consideration for intra-arterial chemotherapy pump placement. Axial images alone permit recognition of vascular anomalies, including complex anatomy. Nevertheless, 3-dimensional rendering is useful to evaluate complex vascular anatomy and does not require catheter angiographic confirmation. In addition to aiding in selecting patients ideal for pump placement, MDCT permits noninvasive planning of their surgical approach.

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