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Radiological assessment of Peritoneal Cancer Index on preoperative CT in ovarian cancer is related to surgical outcome and survival



To evaluate whether Peritoneal Cancer Index (PCI) assessed on preoperative CT (CT-PCI) can be used as non-invasive preoperative tool to predict surgical outcome, disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).

Materials and methods

This is a retrospective, observational cohort study performed in a single institution. We considered all patients with diagnosis of ovarian cancer and preoperative CT, who had undergone upfront cytoreductive surgery between 2008 and 2010 and had post-operative clinical follow-up to December 2015. Two radiologists reviewed CT scans and assessed CT-PCI using Sugarbaker’s diagram. We assessed the discriminatory capacity of the CT-PCI score on the surgical outcome by ROC curve analysis. DFS and OS were assessed by Kaplan–Meier nonparametric curves and by multivariable Cox-regression analysis.


A total of 297 patients were included in the present analysis. CT-PCI was positively correlated with post-operative residual disease [odds ratio (OR) 1.04, 95% CI 1.01–1.07, p = 0.003]. ROC curve analysis returned AUC = 0.64 for the prediction of total macroscopic tumour clearance. In multivariable analysis, patients with no peritoneal disease seen on CT had a significantly longer DFS [Hazard ratio (HR) 2.28, p = 0.007]. Radiological serosal small bowel involvement was an independent predictor for shorter OS (HR 3.01, p = 0.002).


Radiological PCI assessed on preoperative CT is associated with the probability of residual disease after cytoreductive surgery; however, it has low performance as a triage test to reliably identify patients who are likely to have complete cytoreductive surgery. CT-PCI is positively correlated with both DFS and OS and may be used as an independent prognostic factor, for example in patients with high FIGO stages.

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Computed tomography


Peritoneal Cancer Index


Disease-free survival


Overall survival


Odds ratio


Hazard ratio


Receiving operator curve


Area under the curve


Interclass correlation coefficient


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The authors also acknowledge programmatic support from UK Medical Research Council (EA, AR) and Ovarian Cancer Action (CF).


This article is an independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), the Imperial College Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) and Imperial College London Tissue Bank. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

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Correspondence to Giacomo Avesani.

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Avesani, G., Arshad, M., Lu, H. et al. Radiological assessment of Peritoneal Cancer Index on preoperative CT in ovarian cancer is related to surgical outcome and survival. Radiol med 125, 770–776 (2020).

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