The purpose of this study was to compare the value of dynamic magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) and fat suppression In detecting a pancreatic tumor. The subjects were 19 patients with invasive ductal adenocarcinoma and six patients with islet cell tumor where diagnosis was established pathologically. Breath-hold gradient echo images, breath-hold gradient echo images with fat suppression and breath-hold gradient echo images with dynamic enhancement at 1.5 T were obtained for all patients. The efficacies of these three imaging techniques were compared by calculating the contrast-to-noise ratio, as indicative of conspicuousness between a tumor-affected and a normal pancreas. As for adenocarcinoma, our results indicated that the usefulness In detecting the tumor was high, decreasing in the order dynamic contrast images > fat suppression images > plain images, and that the difference between any two of these three types of image was statistically significant. On the other hand, these imaging techniques showed no statistically significant difference in detecting islet cell tumors. In conclusion, dynamic MRI is the best method for detecting pancreatic adenocarcinoma. As the fat suppression technique has the advantage of being non-invasive, this method is suitable for screening studies of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. However, no advantage was recognized in using the fat suppression technique for detecting an islet cell tumor in comparison with plain MRI.
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