Purpose: To characterize the prevalence of missed pancreatic masses and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)-related findings on CT and MRI between pre-diagnostic patients and healthy individuals. Materials and methods: Patients diagnosed with PDAC (2010–2016) were retrospectively reviewed for abdominal CT- or MRI-examinations 1 month—3 years prior to their diagnosis, and subsequently matched to controls in a 1:4 ratio. Two blinded radiologists scored each imaging exam on the presence of a pancreatic mass and secondary features of PDAC. Additionally, original radiology reports were graded based on the revised RADPEER criteria. Results: The cohort of 595 PDAC patients contained 60 patients with a pre-diagnostic CT and 27 with an MRI. A pancreatic mass was suspected in hindsight on CT in 51.7% and 50% of cases and in 1.3% and 0.9% of controls by reviewer 1 (p <.001) and reviewer 2 (p <.001), respectively. On MRI, a mass was suspected in 70.4% and 55.6% of cases and 2.9% and 0% of the controls by reviewer 1 (p <.001) and reviewer 2 (p <.001), respectively. Pancreatic duct dilation, duct interruption, focal atrophy, and features of acute pancreatitis is strongly associated with PDAC (p <.001). In cases, a RADPEER-score of 2 or 3 was assigned to 56.3% of the CT-reports and 71.4% of MRI-reports. Conclusion: Radiological features as pancreatic duct dilation and interruption, and focal atrophy are common first signs of PDAC and are often missed or unrecognized. Further investigation with dedicated pancreas imaging is warranted in patients with PDAC-related radiological findings. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
- Case–control studies
- Computed tomography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging