Rationale and Objectives: We sought to demonstrate that intravenous contrast-enhanced CT colonography (CTC) can distinguish colonic adenomas from carcinomas. Methods: Supine intravenous contrast-enhanced CTC with colonoscopic and/or surgical correlation was performed on 25 patients with colonic adenomas or carcinomas. Standard deviation of mean polyp CT attenuation was computed and assessed using ANOVA and receiver-operating characteristic analyses. Results: Colonoscopy confirmed 32 polyps or masses 1 to 8 cm in size. The standard deviations of CT attenuation were carcinomas (n = 13; 36 ± 6 HU; range 28-48 HU) and adenomas (n = 19; 49 ± 14 HU; range 31-100 HU) (P = 0.005). At a standard deviation threshold of 42 HU, the sensitivity and specificity for classifying a polyp or mass as a carcinoma were 92% and 79%, respectively. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.89 ± 0.06 (95% confidence interval 0.73-0.96). Conclusions: Measurement of the standard deviation of CT attenuation on intravenous contrast-enhanced CTC permits histopathologic classification of polyps 1 cm or larger as carcinomas versus adenomas. The presence of ulceration or absence of muscular invasion in carcinomas creates overlap with adenomas, reducing the specificity of carcinoma classification.
- colon cancer
- CT, 3D reconstruction
- CT, colon
- image processing
- intravenous contrast enhancement