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Positive Versus Neutral Oral Contrast Material for Detection of Malignant Deposits in Intraabdominal Nonsolid Organs on CT

Chansik An, Markus M. Obmann, Yuxin Sun, Zhen J. Wang, Mark D. Sugi, Spencer C. Behr, Ronald J. Zagoria, Sean A. Woolen, Benjamin M. Yeh

Abstract: Background: Data are limited regarding utility of positive oral contrast material for peritoneal tumor detection on CT. Objective: To compare positive versus neutral oral contrast material for detection of malignant deposits in nonsolid intraabdominal organs on CT. Methods: This retrospective study included 265 patients (133 men, 132 women; median age, 61 years) who underwent an abdominopelvic CT examination where the report did not suggest presence of malignant deposits and subsequent CT examination within 6 months where the report indicated at least one unequivocal malignant deposit. Examinations used positive (iohexol; n=100) or neutral (water; n=165) oral agents. A radiologist reviewed images to assess whether the deposits were visible (despite clinical reports indicating no deposits) on unblinded comparison with the follow-up examinations; identified deposits were assigned to one of seven intraabdominal compartments. The radiologist also assessed adequacy of bowel filling with oral contrast material. Two additional radiologists independently reviewed examinations in blinded fashion for malignant deposits. NPV was assessed of clinical CT reports and blinded retrospective readings for detection of malignant deposits visible on unblinded comparison with follow-up examinations. Results: Unblinded review identified malignant deposits in 58.1% (154/265) of examinations. In per-patient analysis of clinical reports, NPV for malignant deposits was higher for examinations with adequate bowel filling with positive oral contrast material [65.8% (25/38)] than for examinations with inadequate bowel filling with positive oral contrast material [45.2% (28/62]], p=.07) or with neutral oral contrast material regardless of bowel filling adequacy [35.2% (58/165), p=.002]. In per-compartment analysis of blinded interpretations, NPV was higher for examinations with adequate and inadequate bowel filling with positive oral contrast material than for examinations with neutral oral contrast regardless of bowel filling adequacy [reader 1: 94.7% (234/247) and 92.5% (382/413) vs 88.3% (947/1072), both p=.045; reader 2: 93.1% (228/245) and 91.6% (361/394) vs 85.9% (939/1093), both p=.01]. Conclusion: CT has suboptimal NPV for malignant deposits in intraabdominal nonsolid organs. Compared to neutral material, positive oral contrast material improves detection, particularly with adequate bowel filling. Clinical Impact: Optimization of bowel preparation for oncologic CT may help avoid potentially severe clinical consequences of missed malignant deposits.
Keywords: malignant deposits / bowel filling / neutral oral contrast material / Deposits in Intraabdominal

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