Ninety patients with periampullary tumors, staged by CT scan and believed to be resectable, were staged further by visceral angiography. Most of these patients (78) had carcinoma of the head of the pancreas. Visceral angiography was normal in 62 patients. Major vessel encasement (17 patients) or occlusion (11 patients) was identified in 28 patients. There were no complications related to angiography. Among the 62 patients with normal angiograms, 48 underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy, for a resectability rate of 77%. Among the 17 patients with vessel encasement, the resectability rate was 35%. For the 11 patients with vessel occlusion, the resectability rate was 0%. Combined with CT scan, visceral angiography is a useful adjunct in the staging of patients with periampullary tumors. Major vessel occlusion precludes resection, and major vessel encasement makes resection unlikely. If visceral angiography is normal, it is very likely that the tumor will be resectable.
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