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November 7, 1977

Computerized Tomography, Diagnostic Ultrasound, and Radionuclide Scanning: Comparison of Efficacy in Diagnosis of Pancreatic Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Gastroenterology (Drs Barkin and Kaiser and Ms Redlhammer) and the Division of Nuclear Medicine (Drs Vining, Miale, and Gottlieb), University of Miami-Jackson Medical Center, Miami.

JAMA. 1977;238(19):2040-2042. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280200052018

Forty-six patients, including 33 with proved pancreatic carcinoma, were studied with computerized tomography (CT), ultrasound (US), and radionuclide (RN) scanning. The results of each scanning procedure were compared with the surgical and clinical findings. The detection rate was 82% for CT, and 92% with US. A mass is the most important finding in the diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma. Measurements of the pancreas with CT and US were similar, with visualization of all parts of the pancreas routinely better with CT scans. Radionuclide scans were abnormal in 96% of the patients with pancreatic carcinoma as well as in 75% of patients without pancreatic disease. A rational approach to examination of a patient with suspected pancreatic carcinoma should begin with US scan when available, because the detection rate with this method is equal to that with CT and its cost per procedure and for equipment is substantially less.

(JAMA 238:2040-2042, 1977)