Diveriticulitis versus colon cancer: Differentiation with helical CT findings

Kedar N. Chintapalli, Shailendra Chopra, Abraham A. Ghiatas, Christine C. Esola, Steven F. Fields, Gerald D. Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To retrospectively determine the computed tomographic (CT) signs associated with diverticulitis or colon cancer, and to prospectively apply these signs in the differentiation of these diseases. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-eight CT scans in cases of proved diverticulitis (n = 27) or colon cancer (n = 31) were evaluated retrospectively by radiologists (blinded to the proved diagnosis) for the presence or absence of previously reported CT findings. These findings were correlated with the pathologic or final clinical diagnosis. The retrospective findings were applied in a prospective evaluation with a new set of 72 CT scans. The same five radiologists rendered a diagnosis according to a five-point confidence scale from definitely benign to definitely malignant. Individual and consensus readings were correlated with the final diagnosis. RESULTS: Retrospectively, pericolonic inflammation (P < .01) and segment involvement greater than 10 cm (P < .012) were the most significant findings for diverticulitis; pericolonic lymph nodes (P < .0001) and luminal mass (P < .003) were the most significant findings for colon cancer. Prospectively, an unequivocal diagnosis was made correctly in 16 (40%) of 40 cases of diverticulitis and 21 (66%) of 32 cases of colon cancer. CONCLUSION: When there are no pericolonic lymph nodes adjacent to a segment of colonic wall thickening, with pericolonic inflammatory changes, the most likely diagnosis is diverticulitis. When pericolonic lymph nodes are present, with or without pericolonic edema, the most likely diagnosis is colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
JournalRadiology
Volume210
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1999

Keywords

  • Colon, diverticula
  • Colon, neoplasms
  • Computed tomography (CT), helical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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    Chintapalli, K. N., Chopra, S., Ghiatas, A. A., Esola, C. C., Fields, S. F., & Dodd, G. D. (1999). Diveriticulitis versus colon cancer: Differentiation with helical CT findings. Radiology, 210(2), 429-435. https://doi.org/10.1148/radiology.210.2.r99fe48429