Purpose The purpose of the current study was to compare CT-signs of portal venous confluence infiltration for actual histopathological infiltration of the vein or the tumor/vein interface (TVI) in borderline resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Methods and materials 101 patients with therapy-naïve, primarily resected PDAC of the pancreatic head without arterial involvement were evaluated. The portal venous confluence was assessed for contour irregularity (defined as infiltration) and degree of contact. The sensitivity and specificity of contour irregularity versus tumor to vein contact >180 as well as the combination of the signs for tumor cell infiltration of the vessel wall or TVI was calculated. Overall survival (OS) was compared between groups. Results Sensitivity and specificity of contour irregularity for identification of tumor infiltration of the portal venous confluence or the TVI was higher compared to tumor to vessel contact >180 for tumor cell infiltration (96%/79% vs. 91%/38% respectively, p<0.001). The combination of the signs increased specificity to 92% (sensitivity 88%). Patients with contour irregularity/ tumor to vein contact >180/ both signs had significantly worse overall survival (16.2 vs. 26.5 months/ 17.9 vs. 37.4 months/ 18.5 vs. 26.5 months respectively, all p<0.05). Conclusion Portal venous confluence contour irregularity is a strong predictor of actual tumor cell infiltration of the vessel wall or the TVI and should be noted as such in radiological reports.
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