Small Bowel Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors: Multidetector Computed Tomography Enhancement Pattern and Risk of Progression

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Abstract

Objective

Small bowel gastrointestinal stromal tumors (SB-GISTs) are rare lesions with a variable appearance on computed tomography (CT). This case series analyzes the CT enhancement pattern with the histologic risk assessment of tumor progression.

Methods

Local institutional pathology database was searched for SB-GISTs from 2000 to 2015. Pathology reports and clinical notes were reviewed. Imaging was qualitatively reviewed for pattern of enhancement categorized into homogeneous or heterogeneous groups. Nonparametric statistical analysis was performed comparing enhancement to segment of bowel involved, presence of necrosis, tumor size, histologic grade (ie, G1 or G2), and histologic risk of progression (ie low, moderate, high). For simplicity, risk of progression was binned into low-risk or non–low-risk groups.

Results

Twenty-six pathology-proven, first presentation, nonmetastatic SB-GISTs were included into study. Seventeen were located in duodenum, 7 in jejunum, and 2 within the ileum. Dual phase (arterial and venous) CT imaging was available for 22 cases. Four cases did not have dual phase (three venous phase and one arterial phase only). Seventeen cases demonstrated heterogeneous enhancement and 9 cases homogeneous enhancement. Statistically significant difference was found between size versus enhancement groups (3.1 cm for homogeneous versus 6.8 cm for heterogeneous) (Mann-Whitney U test, n = 26, P = 0.002). Presence of necrosis versus enhancement group was statistically significant (Pearson χ2, P = 0.001). Low-risk and non–low-risk groups versus enhancement groups was very significant (P = 0.001). Bowel segment involvement and histologic grading versus enhancement group did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.174 and P = 0.07, respectively).

Conclusions

This case series reveals an important significant association between heterogeneous enhancement and non-low risk (ie, moderate/high) SB-GISTs. Beyond just describing the tumor, using enhancing pattern, the interpreting radiologist can preoperatively suggest additional prognostic information, potentially helpful for surgical planning.

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