To assess the diagnostic accuracy of 64-multidetector CT (MDCT) for restaging of patients with oesophageal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant therapy.
Results of pathological staging were correlated with those from 64-MDCT before and after neoadjuvant treatment in 35 patients using the American Joint Committee on Cancer/TNM classification (7th edition). CT response was determined using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) method, modified for one-dimensional tumour diameter measurement.
64-MDCT predicted T stage correctly in 34 % (12/35), overstaged in 49 % (17/35) and understaged in 17 % (6/35). Sensitivity/specificity values were as follows: T0, 20 %/92 %; T1-T2, 31 %/59 %; T3, 60 %/64 %; T4, 100 %/4 %. Negative predictive values for T3/T4 were 80 %/100 %. MDCT accurately predicted complete histopathological response in 20 % (accuracy 74 %) and overstaged in 80 %. Tumour regression grade was predicted correctly in only 8 % (2/25) and underestimated in 68 % (17/25). Accurate N stage was noted in 69 % (24/35).
Although MDCT tends to be able to exclude advanced tumour stages (T3, T4) with a higher likelihood, the diagnostic accuracy of high resolution MDCT for restaging oesophageal cancer and assessing the response to neoadjuvant therapy has not improved in comparison to older-generation CT. Therefore, the future assessment of oesophageal tumour response should focus on combined morphologic and metabolic imaging.
• Multidetector CT (MDCT) has been beneficial for the evaluation of many tumours.
• However diagnostic accuracy for restaging oesophageal cancer has not improved with MDCT.
• MDCT tends to be able to exclude advanced tumour stages (T3/T4).
• MDCT has a low accuracy for determining lymph node metastasis.
• Oesophageal tumour response should be assessed by combined morphological and metabolic imaging.