The role of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in patients with pancreatic endocrine tumors such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES) is controversial. In the present study we have examined the ability of current MR imaging compared with other imaging modalities, to localize gastrinomas in 43 patients with ZES. All results were subsequently assessed at exploratory laparotomy (N = 34) or by liver biopsy (N = 9). For the 18 patients with metastatic gastrinoma in the liver, MR imaging had a sensitivity of 83%, ultrasound 50%, CT 56%, and angiography 61%. The combination of MR imaging, ultrasound, and CT were the same as MR imaging alone. For MR imaging, both T1 and STIR sequences had equal sensitivity, although tumors were more easily seen with STIR sequences. Specificity of MR imaging was slightly lower (88%) than the other modalities (96-100%) because MR imaging incorrectly identified small hemangiomas as possible tumors in four patients. MR imaging was better than CT in identifying metastatic lesions in the liver. For the localization of primary gastrinoma, assessed in 32 patients, MR imaging had a sensitivity of 25%, ultrasound 19%, CT 28%, all three together 38%, and angiography 59%. Localization of metastatic gastrinoma in the liver or primary gastrinomas in 16 patients was assessed before and after gadolinium-DTPA (0.1 mmol/kg). The sensitivity and specificity of MR imaging was unchanged but bolus injection and rapid MR acquisition techniques were not used. These results indicate that recent advances in MR imaging have greatly improved its sensitivity for the detection and assessment of the extent of metastatic gastrinoma. MR imaging is now the imaging study of choice to assess metastatic pancreatic endocrine tumors in the liver. In contrast, the detection of primary tumors by MR imaging has not improved; therefore, angiography remains the study of choice.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993LN12900022
View details for PubMedID 8325191