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Ital J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1999 Oct;31 Suppl 2:S163-6.

Localization of gastroenteropancreatic tumours by angiography.

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Diagnostic Radiology Department, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Neuroendocrine tumours are seen on arteriography as diffusely enhancing masses without tumour vessels and without arteriovenous shunting. In 70 patients with surgically proven tumours, the sensitivity of angiography was 68% for extrapancreatic and 86% for hepatic lesions. Hepatic metastases have always been easier to demonstrate arteriographically than the primary tumour because of the absence of overlying bowel. Portal venous sampling is a sensitive technique for detecting functioning gastroenteropancreatic tumours. Sampling the small veins about the pancreatic head yielded a sensitivity of 62% but this is an invasive procedure in which considerable experience is required. Intra-arterial secretagogue, secretin for gastrinomas and calcium for insulinomas, selectively injected into the pancreatic and the hepatic arteries produce a diagnostic gastrin or insulin gradient respectively. The localization sensitivity of arterial stimulation with venous sampling is 77-89% for gastrinoma and 92% for pancreatic insulinoma. Recently, spiral CT in conjunction with selective intra-arterial rather than intravenous injection of contrast may increase the detection sensitivity of duodenal and pancreatic gastrinomas.

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