A prospective evaluation of computed tomography (CT), ultrasonography (US), and Tc-99m sulfur colloid scintigraphy of the liver was performed in 189 patients who had either colon (n = 129) or breast (n = 60) carcinoma. Imaging was performed with fourth-generation CT scanners, gray-scale or phased array ultrasound scanners, and 37-tube gamma cameras. Studies were evaluated independently and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed. In addition, a standard 2 x 2 matrix analysis was performed. In patients who had all three examinations (n = 122), the matrix analysis showed that CT had a slightly higher sensitivity (0.93) than scintigraphy (0.86) or US (0.82); specificities were 0.88, 0.83, and 0.85, respectively. These differences were not statistically significant. However, ROC curves showed that CT had the highest true-positive ratio at every false-positive ratio, and that US had the lowest. The performance of CT did not differ significantly from that of scintigraphy, but was better than that of US (p < .05), especially in patients with breast carcinoma. Overall, CT provided the most accurate means for detecting liver metastases from both primary lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging