Quantitative CT perfusion imaging in patients with pancreatic cancer: a systematic review

T. Perik, E. van Genugten, E. Aarntzen, E. Smit, H. Huisman and J. Hermans

Abdominal Radiology 2021.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related death with a 5-year survival rate of 10%. Quantitative CT perfusion (CTP) can provide additional diagnostic information compared to the limited accuracy of the current standard, contrast-enhanced CT (CECT). This systematic review evaluates CTP for diagnosis, grading, and treatment assessment of PDAC. The secondary goal is to provide an overview of scan protocols and perfusion models used for CTP in PDAC. The search strategy combined synonyms for 'CTP' and 'PDAC.' Pubmed, Embase, and Web of Science were systematically searched from January 2000 to December 2020 for studies using CTP to evaluate PDAC. The risk of bias was assessed using QUADAS-2. 607 abstracts were screened, of which 29 were selected for full-text eligibility. 21 studies were included in the final analysis with a total of 760 patients. All studies comparing PDAC with non-tumorous parenchyma found significant CTP-based differences in blood flow (BF) and blood volume (BV). Two studies found significant differences between pathological grades. Two other studies showed that BF could predict neoadjuvant treatment response. A wide variety in kinetic models and acquisition protocol was found among included studies. Quantitative CTP shows a potential benefit in PDAC diagnosis and can serve as a tool for pathological grading and treatment assessment; however, clinical evidence is still limited. To improve clinical use, standardized acquisition and reconstruction parameters are necessary for interchangeability of the perfusion parameters.