CT detection of primary and metastatic ileal carcinoid tumor: rates of missed findings and associated delay in clinical diagnosis.
Abdom Radiol (NY). 2019 Aug;44(8):2721-2728. doi: 10.1007/s00261-019-01945-0.
Gupta A, Lubner MG, Wertz RM, Foley E, Loeffler A, Pickhardt PJ.
PURPOSE: To determine the rate of missed CT findings of ileal carcinoid tumor prior to pathologic diagnosis and the resultant diagnostic delay.
METHODS: Initially, 74 patients with abdominal and pelvic CT prior to pathologically-proven diagnosis of ileal carcinoid were identified. Patients were excluded when the original CT study (n = 6) or report (n = 4) was not available, resulting in a final cohort of 64 patients (mean age, 58.3 years; 29 M/35F); 27 (42%) patients had more than one abdominal CT prior to diagnosis. All available CT studies prior to diagnosis were retrospectively reviewed for the presence of the primary ileal tumor and metastatic disease (mesenteric and hepatic).
RESULTS: Primary ileal tumors were prospectively missed on at least one CT scan in 64% (32/50) of patients with retrospectively identifiable disease. CT findings of mesenteric spread were missed at least once in 46% (25/54) of cases where present in retrospect. By the final pre-operative CT, hepatic metastases and bowel wall thickening were present in 55% (35/64) and 52% (33/64) of cases, respectively. In patients with missed ileal and/or mesenteric findings resulting in diagnostic delay, mean delay was 40 months (range 4-98 months).
CONCLUSION: Initial presentation of ileal carcinoid tumor, even with mesenteric involvement, is often missed prospectively at abdominal CT, leading to delay in diagnosis until bowel or mesenteric findings become more obvious, or hepatic metastatic disease manifests. Radiologists should make a concerted effort to evaluate the bowel and mesentery in patients with long-standing vague abdominal symptoms.
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