Differentiation of autoimmune pancreatitis from pancreatic adenocarcinoma using CT characteristics: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Seung Bae Yoon, Tae Yeon Jeon, Sung-Hoon Moon, Dong Woo Shin, Sang Min Lee, Moon Hyung Choi, Ji Hye Min, Min-Jeong Kim
Eur Radiol . 2023 Jul 19. doi: 10.1007/s00330-023-09959-5. Online ahead of print.
Objectives: To determine informational CT findings for distinguishing autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) from pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and to review their diagnostic accuracy.
Methods: A systematic and detailed literature review was performed through PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library. Similar descriptors to embody the identical image finding were labeled as a single CT characteristic. We calculated the pooled diagnostic odds ratios (DORs) of each CT characteristic using a bivariate random-effects model.
Results: A total of 145 various descriptors from 15 studies (including 562 AIP and 869 PDAC patients) were categorized into 16 CT characteristics. According to the pooled DOR, 16 CT characteristics were classified into three groups (suggesting AIP, suggesting PDAC, and not informational). Seven characteristics suggesting AIP were diffuse pancreatic enlargement (DOR, 48), delayed homogeneous enhancement (DOR, 46), capsule-like rim (DOR, 34), multiple pancreatic masses (DOR, 16), renal involvement (DOR, 15), retroperitoneal fibrosis (DOR, 13), and bile duct involvement (DOR, 8). Delayed homogeneous enhancement showed a pooled sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 85%. The other six characteristics showed relatively low sensitivity (12-63%) but high specificity (93-99%). Four characteristics suggesting PDAC were discrete pancreatic mass (DOR, 23), pancreatic duct cutoff (DOR, 16), upstream main pancreatic duct dilatation (DOR, 8), and upstream parenchymal atrophy (DOR, 7).
Conclusion: Eleven CT characteristics were informational to distinguish AIP from PDAC. Diffuse pancreatic enlargement, delayed homogeneous enhancement, and capsule-like rim suggested AIP with the highest DORs, whereas discrete pancreatic mass suggested PDAC. However, pooled sensitivities of informational CT characteristics were moderate.
Clinical relevance statement: This meta-analysis underscores eleven distinctive CT characteristics that aid in differentiating autoimmune pancreatitis from pancreatic adenocarcinoma, potentially preventing misdiagnoses in patients presenting with focal/diffuse pancreatic enlargement.