The imaging of malignant pancreatic tumors.

I Duarte, T Proença e Cunha, F Torrinha, M de L Orvalho, A Lacerda


Malignant neoplasias of the pancreas include various histological types with imaging characteristics and behaviour which allows them to be distinguished from one another in a good percentage of situations. However, differentiation is not always possible without resorting to anatomo-pathological techniques, differential diagnosis with benign lesions being a great challenge to imaging, with particular reference to the inflammatory masses. Adenocarcinoma makes up about 95% of pancreatic neoplasias and is one of the great causes of death by cancer in developed countries. The imaging techniques applied in the diagnosis and staging of the principal tumours of the pancreas are very diversified, including innocuous means such as ultrasound, invasive methods using angiographic techniques or the recourse to endoscopic means to endocavity assessment. The use of each of these techniques depends essentially on the type of tumor to be studied, the correct and complete knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of each one, becomes fundamental in what concerns the rational application of means in the imaging of the pancreas.

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