Role of rapid kV-switching dual-energy CT in assessment of post-surgical local recurrence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of material-specific iodine (MS-I) images generated by rapid kV-switching single-source dual-energy computed tomography (rsDECT) for distinguishing post-operative changes from local tumor recurrence in patients on follow-up for pancreatic adenocarcinoma after surgical resection.In this IRB-approved HIPPA-compliant study, retrospective review of 51 patients who underwent surgical resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma was conducted and were followed up using contrast-enhanced rsDECT (Discovery CT 750HD, GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI). Independent qualitative assessment for presence of local tumor recurrence was performed by two radiologists who evaluated 65 keV (single-energy CT-equivalent interpretation) and 65 keV with MS-I (rsDECT interpretation) in separate sessions. Quantitative analysis of Hounsfield unit (HU, on 65 keV) and normalized iodine concentration (NIC on MS-I images; iodine concentration ratio in post-operative tissue to aorta) was measured. Follow-up imaging, temporal change of CEA and CA 19-9 or biopsy served as reference standard for presence and absence of local recurrence. Sensitivity and specificity of readers and quantitative parameters was calculated and receiver operating characteristic curves and Fisher's exact test were generated. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.A total of 51 patients (27 females, 24 males) with mean age of 64 years built the final cohort. Local recurrence was absent in 23 (Group A) and present in 28 (Group B) patients. The follow-up imaging was performed within 7 months of rsDECT. For both readers, the addition of MS-I increased the specificity for tissue characterization and improved reader confidence as compared to 65 keV (specificity: 80% and 56%, respectively) images alone. Quantitative analysis revealed a significantly lower NIC (0.28 vs. 0.35; p < 0.05) for non-recurrent tissue. However, HU was not significantly different for non-recurrent and recurrent tissue (0.63 vs. 0.70; p > 0.05).In inherently complex cases of post-operative pancreatic adenocarcinoma, MS-I images from rsDECT can be a useful adjunct to conventional scans in characterizing loco-regional soft tissue.