Computerised axial tomography demonstrated the presence of a mass lesion in the pancreas in 9 (64%) of 14 patients with histologically confirmed pancreatic cancer. Since this was a retrospective analysis, the percentage of false positive and negative results using this technique is not as yet known. The technique appears accurate in detecting abnormal pancreatic masses of 10 cm in diameter or more, however, for masses less than 10 cm in diameter the yield at present is only 33%. With further technical refinement to increase resolution, the automatic computerised transverse axial scan should prove to be an invaluable procedure for the detection of pancreatic carcinoma, in designing radiation therapy ports, and in providing objective information regarding response of therapy and progression of disease.
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