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Extracellular volume fraction determined by equilibrium contrast-enhanced dual-energy CT as a prognostic factor in patients with stage IV pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the feasibility of equilibrium contrast-enhanced dual-energy CT (DECT), as compared with single-energy CT (SECT) and to calculate extracellular volume (ECV) fraction to predict the survival outcomes of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients with distant metastases (stage IV) treated with chemotherapy.

Methods

The study cohort included a total of 66 patients with stage IV PDAC who underwent DECT before systemic chemotherapy between July 2014 and March 2017. Unenhanced and 120-kVp equivalent images during the equilibrium phase were used to calculate tumor SECT-derived ECV fractions, and iodine density images were obtained from equilibrium-phase DECT for DECT-derived ECV fractions. Correlations between SECT- and DECT-derived ECV fractions were identified using the Pearson correlation coefficient and Bland–Altman analysis. The effects of clinical prognostic factors and tumor SECT- and DECT-derived ECV fractions on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results

The correlation between SECT- and DECT-derived ECV fractions was strong (r = 0.965; p < 0.001). The Bland–Altman plot between SECT- and DECT-derived ECV fractions showed a small bias (− 3.4%). Increasing tumor SECT- and DECT-derived ECV fractions were associated with a positive effect on PFS (SECT, p = 0.002; DECT, p = 0.007) and OS (DECT, p = 0.014; DECT, p = 0.015). Only tumor DECT-derived ECV fraction was an independent predictor of PFS (p = 0.018) and OS (p = 0.022) in patients with stage IV PDAC treated with chemotherapy on multivariate analysis.

Conclusions

The ECV fraction determined by equilibrium contrast-enhanced DECT can potentially predict the survival of patients with stage IV PDAC treated with chemotherapy.

Key Points

• Extracellular volume fraction of stage IV pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma determined by dual-energy CT was strongly correlated to that with single-energy CT (r = 0.965, p < 0.001).

• Tumor extracellular volume fraction was an independent predictor of progression-free survival (p = 0.018) and overall survival (p = 0.022).

• Extracellular volume fraction determined by dual-energy CT could be a useful imaging biomarker to predict the survival of patients with stage IV pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma treated with chemotherapy.

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Abbreviations

CA:

Carbohydrate antigen

CEA:

Carcinoembryonic antigen

CI:

Confidence interval

CTDIvol:

CT dose index volume

DECT:

Dual-energy CT

DLP:

Dose-length product

ECV:

Extracellular volume

ICC:

Intraclass correlation coefficient

IDI:

Iodine density image

OS:

Overall survival

PDAC:

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

PFS:

Progression-free survival

ROIs:

Regions of interest

SECT:

Single-energy CT

UICC:

Union for International Cancer Control

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Funding

The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

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Correspondence to Yoshihiko Fukukura.

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Guarantor

The scientific guarantor of this publication is Yoshihiko Fukukura, MD, PhD, Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

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Fukukura, Y., Kumagae, Y., Higashi, R. et al. Extracellular volume fraction determined by equilibrium contrast-enhanced dual-energy CT as a prognostic factor in patients with stage IV pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Eur Radiol 30, 1679–1689 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-019-06517-w

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Keywords

  • Pancreatic ductal carcinoma
  • Multidetector computed tomography
  • Contrast media
  • Extracellular space
  • Treatment outcome