Tumor thrombosis: a peculiar finding associated with pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms. A pictorial essay.
Abdom Radiol (NY). 2018 Mar;43(3):613-619. doi: 10.1007/s00261-017-1243-z. De Robertis R1, Paiella S2, Cardobi N3, Landoni L2, Tinazzi Martini P3, Ortolani S4, De Marchi G5, Gobbo S6, Giardino A7, Butturini G7, Tortora G8, Bassi C2, D'Onofrio M9.
While abutment, encasement or vessel occlusion are identified in most patients with a pancreatic tumor, tumor thrombosis is an uncommon finding. In particular, there are no description in the literature of tumor thrombosis associated with ductal adenocarcinoma, the most common pancreatic tumor. On the other hand, surgical series reveal that tumor thrombosis is associated with about 5% of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PanNENs), and literature data suggest that this finding is frequently underreported on pre-operative imaging examinations. Tumor thrombosis may be clinically relevant, causing splenoportomesenteric hypertension, possibly responsible for life-threatening upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Bland thrombosis caused by direct infiltration of peri-pancreatic vessels frequently determines surgical unresectability, even in neuroendocrine tumors; on the opposite, tumor thrombosis associated with PanNENs do not exclude surgery per se, even though both morbidity and mortality can be increased by such condition. Considering the favorable prognosis of PanNENs and the frequent need to treat tumor thrombosis in order to prevent complications or to relieve symptoms, it is of paramount importance for radiologists the knowledge of the variety of findings associated with tumor thrombosis in PanNENs.