Differentiation of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors from pancreas renal cell carcinoma metastases on CT using qualitative and quantitative features
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PURPOSE: To assess qualitative and quantitative imaging features on enhanced CT that may differentiate pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) from pancreatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) metastases. METHODS: This IRB-approved multi-center retrospective case-control study compared 43 resected PNETs and 28 resected RCC metastases with pre-operative enhanced CT identified consecutively between 2003 and 2017. Two blinded radiologists (R1/R2) independently assessed tumor location, attenuation (relative to pancreas), composition (solid/cystic/mixed), homogeneity (homogeneous/heterogeneous), calcification, multiplicity, and for main pancreatic duct (MPD) dilation. Tumors were segmented for quantitative texture analysis. Data were analyzed with Chi square, logistic regression, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC). Inter-observer agreement was assessed (Cohen's kappa). RESULTS: There was no difference in age, gender, location, attenuation, or composition (P > 0.05) between groups. PNETs were larger than RCC metastases (37 ± 23 mm vs. 26 ± 21 mm, P = 0.038), more frequently solitary (P < 0.001), subjectively more heterogeneous (P = 0.033/0.144, R1/R2), and associated with calcification (P = 0.002/0.004) and MPD dilation (P = 0.025/0.006). Agreement for subjective features was moderate-to-almost perfect (K = 0.4879-0.9481). Quantitative texture analysis showed higher entropy in PNETs (6.32 ± 0.49 versus 5.96 ± 0.53; P = 0.004) with no difference in other features studied (P > 0.05). Entropy had ROC area under the curve for diagnosis of PNET of 0.77 ± 0.06, with optimal sensitivity/specificity of 71.4/79.1%. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to pancreatic RCC metastases, PNETs are larger, more frequently solitary, contain calcification, show MPD dilation, and are subjectively and quantitatively more heterogeneous tumors.
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