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Br J Surg. 2004 Oct;91(10):1361-9.

Prospective study of contrast-enhanced computed tomography, computed tomography during arterioportography, and magnetic resonance imaging for staging colorectal liver metastases for liver resection.

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Department of Surgery, Royal Free Hospital, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, UK.



This study compared the value of contrast-enhanced helical computed tomography (CT), CT during arterioportography (CTAP), and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for staging patients with colorectal liver metastases.


One hundred and twenty patients with known or suspected colorectal liver metastases were evaluated prospectively. MRI and CTAP were performed within 3 weeks of CT in patients with potentially resectable tumours. Results of imaging were compared with findings at surgery, intraoperative ultrasonography and histological examination.


Twenty patients were not considered for liver resection following CT. The remaining 100 patients underwent CT and CTAP, 85 of whom had CT, CTAP and MRI. The sensitivity and specificity were 73.0 and 96.5 per cent for CT, 87.1 and 89.3 per cent for CTAP, and 81.9 and 93.2 per cent for MRI. Positive predictive values were 89.7, 87.5 and 87.5 per cent respectively. Receiver-operator characteristic analysis gave an accuracy on a segment-by-segment analysis of 0.73 for CT, 0.87 for CTAP and 0.82 for MRI. Combining information from CT and CTAP, CT and MRI, or all three modalities, did not significantly increase the percentage of patients staged correctly (71, 72 and 76 per cent respectively).


The diagnostic accuracy of spiral CT, MRI and CTAP was similar. Combining modalities did not improve accuracy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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