Vascular patterns in nodules of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms depicted under contrast-enhanced ultrasonography are helpful for evaluating malignant potential

Naoko Kurihara, Hirofumi Kawamoto, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Yuko Okamoto, Naoki Yamamoto, Koichiro Tsutsumi, Masakuni Fujii, Hironari Kato, Kazuhide Yamamoto

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Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CE-US) to differentiate between benign and malignant intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN). Patients and methods: Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with a contrast agent was performed on 22 consecutive patients with IPMN suspected of being malignant. This revealed 10 carcinomas, 1 borderline lesion and 11 adenomas. All patients underwent surgery, and the histological diagnosis was confirmed by examination of resected specimens. CE-US was performed using a contrast agent. The detection rates of mural nodules were compared between CE-US and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CE-CT), and the imaging of mural nodules depicted under CE-US was analyzed. Results: Seventeen of 22 resected specimens (77.3%) had mural nodules. There was no significant difference in the detection rate between CE-US (n = 15; 88.2%) and CE-CT (n = 12; 70.6%). In 12 (80.0%) of these patients, CE-US revealed small vessels in the mural nodule. The spotty or linear-shaped pattern was detected in 4 patients and the branch-shaped pattern in 8. The branch-shaped pattern lesion was associated with carcinoma. These mural nodules were 10 mm or more in height. In the perfusion image phase, cystic walls and mural nodules were also enhanced in all cases. Conclusion: The vessel shapes of the mural nodules depicted under CE-US were associated with size and pathological findings. These results suggested that CE-US with a contrast agent is a powerful modality with which to evaluate the malignant potential of IPMN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Computed tomography
  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography
  • Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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