Contrast-enhanced ultrasound reliable for diagnosing pancreatic neoplasms
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound appears to be effective in delivering a qualitative diagnosis of benign and malignant pancreatic neoplasms, a recent study has shown.
Researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 retrospective and prospective studies (n=641) that tested the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced ultrasound for benign and malignant pancreatic neoplasms.
According to needle biopsy, surgery and pathology diagnosis methods, the overall rate of benign and malignant neoplasms in the pooled cohort was 62 percent. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound had a pooled sensitivity of 91 percent and specificity of 87 percent.
Additionally, the pooled positive and negative predictive values were 7.2 and 0.11, respectively. The corresponding odds ratio (OR) for delivering a diagnosis was 67 (95 percent CI, 34–113).
Summary receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that contrast-enhanced ultrasound had a good diagnostic value, with an area under the curve of 0.91 (0.88–0.93). Fagan’s nomogram showed that the pretest and post-test probabilities of disease were 50 and 88 percent, respectively, when the positive likelihood ratio was 7.
While a modest degree of heterogeneity among the studies was calculated (p=0.07), with data skewed toward higher sensitivity and lower specificity, the subsequent sensitivity analysis showed region was the primary source of heterogeneity. In studies where participants were ethnically homogenous, heterogeneity was statistically negligible.
“These findings suggest that [contrast-enhanced ultrasound] is highly effective for the diagnosis of benign and malignant pancreatic neoplasms, and … should be considered an important imaging tool for characterization of pancreatic tumours,” said researchers.