Abdominal Imaging - Original Article

Pancreatic metastases: CT and MRI findings


  • Ioannis Tsitouridis
  • Aglaia Diamantopoulou
  • Michael Michaelides
  • Mary Arvanity
  • Sofia Papaioannou

Received Date: 16.06.2008 Accepted Date: 23.03.2009 Diagn Interv Radiol 2010;16(1):45-51


The pancreas is an unusual but occasionally favored site for metastases in patients with advanced malignancy. The pivotal role of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination in detecting the pancreatic mass and providing guidance to obtain a definitive tissue diagnosis is emphasized in this study.


Eleven patients with pancreatic metastases, 4 women and 7 men with a mean age of 62.45 years, were examined in a period of 5 years. All patients underwent CT examination and 3 patients were further evaluated by MRI.


The primary malignancy was lung carcinoma in 7 patients, breast carcinoma in 3 patients and renal cell carcinoma in 1 patient. The pancreatic metastases were detected during initial staging in 4 cases and during follow-up in 7 cases. The type of metastases was solitary in 7 patients, multiple in 3 patients and diffuse in 1 patient, with rim or homogeneous enhancement. Seven patients had metastases to other organs. CT-guided biopsy was performed in 5 patients.


Disparity in prognosis and management of patients with secondary pancreatic tumors makes detection and characterization of metastases to the pancreas an important goal of CT and MRI evaluation.

Keywords: neoplasm metastasis , pancreatic neoplasms , computed tomography , magnetic resonance imaging