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A comparative study of computed tomography and ERCP in pancreaticobiliary disease

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      Abstract

      Fifty-seven patients with suspected pancreaticobiliary pathology constituting a clinical subset in whom the diagnosis was problematic or nonspecific were evaluated with computed tomography and ERCP. The relative sensitivities, specificities, and accuracies of the two tests were compared. Computed tomography was successful in obtaining a diagnostic examination in 100% and ERCP was technically successful in 75%. Both tests were equally accurate in detecting an abnormality (computed tomography 95.7%; ERCP 95.3%) and offering a correct diagnosis (computed tomography 72%; ERCP 70%). Sensitivity and specificity of the two tests for detection of an abnormality was computed tomography 100% and 91.3#/,; ERCP 91.7% and 100%. Sensitivity and specificity for the correct diagnosis was computed tomography 59% and 91.3%; ERCP 46% and 100%. Computed tomography was also superior to ERCP in making a correct diagnosis in pancreatic carcinoma (80% versus 63%) and pancreatitis (75% versus 50%,). Based on these results we conclude that computed tomography utilizing high doses of intravenous contrast material and thin collimation is the preferred screening examination for pancreaticobiliary disease. ERCP should be reserved for those cases where the pancreaticobiliary disease. ERCP should be reserved for those cases where the diagnosis on computed tomography is obscure or uncertain and/or the pancreatic or biliary ductal anatomy requires direct contrast imaging.

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