Pancreatic cancer diagnostic study of choice

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief:

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Diagnostic study of choice

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The diagnostic study of choice for pancreatic cancer is the dynamic spiral CT scan with contrast media (oral and IV) enhancement. Findings on CT scan that may be suggestive of pancreatic cancer include morphological changes of the gland, destruction of the peripancreatic fat and loss of the sharp margins with surrounding structures, involvement of the regional lymph nodes and adjacent vasculature, pancreatic ductal dilatation, pancreatic atrophy and obstruction of the common bile duct . CT scan is also used for the staging of pancreatic cancer.

Diagnostic Study of Choice

Gold standard/Study of choice:

By Hellerhoff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Horwhat JD, Gerke H, Acosta RD, Pavey DA, Jowell PS (2009). "Focal or diffuse "fullness" of the pancreas on CT. Usually benign, but EUS plus/minus FNA is warranted to identify malignancy". JOP. 10 (1): 37–42. PMID 19129613.
  2. Freeny PC, Marks WM, Ryan JA, Traverso LW (1988). "Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: diagnosis and staging with dynamic CT". Radiology. 166 (1 Pt 1): 125–33. doi:10.1148/radiology.166.1.2827228. PMID 2827228.
  3. Karasawa E, Goldberg HI, Moss AA, Federle MP, London SS (1983). "CT pancreatogram in carcinoma of the pancreas and chronic pancreatitis". Radiology. 148 (2): 489–93. doi:10.1148/radiology.148.2.6867347. PMID 6867347.
  4. Raptopoulos V, Steer ML, Sheiman RG, Vrachliotis TG, Gougoutas CA, Movson JS (1997). "The use of helical CT and CT angiography to predict vascular involvement from pancreatic cancer: correlation with findings at surgery". AJR Am J Roentgenol. 168 (4): 971–7. doi:10.2214/ajr.168.4.9124153. PMID 9124153.
  5. Asagi A, Ohta K, Nasu J, Tanada M, Nadano S, Nishimura R; et al. (2013). "Utility of contrast-enhanced FDG-PET/CT in the clinical management of pancreatic cancer: impact on diagnosis, staging, evaluation of treatment response, and detection of recurrence". Pancreas. 42 (1): 11–9. doi:10.1097/MPA.0b013e3182550d77. PMID 22699206.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lee ES, Lee JM (2014). "Imaging diagnosis of pancreatic cancer: a state-of-the-art review". World J Gastroenterol. 20 (24): 7864–77. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i24.7864. PMC 4069314. PMID 24976723.
  7. Brennan DD, Zamboni GA, Raptopoulos VD, Kruskal JB (2007). "Comprehensive preoperative assessment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma with 64-section volumetric CT". Radiographics. 27 (6): 1653–66. doi:10.1148/rg.276075034. PMID 18025509.

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