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Computed tomography of gastrocolic ligament: involvement in malignant tumors of the stomach.

Abdominal Imaging 2007 January
BACKGROUND: This study investigated computed tomographic (CT) features and anatomic bases of gastrocolic ligament involvement in malignant neoplasms of the stomach.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed CT scans of 34 patients known to have gastric malignant neoplasm and gastrocolic ligament involvement. Emphasis was placed on direct invasion, lymph node metastasis, and omental seeding.

RESULTS: CT manifestations of gastrocolic ligament involvement included direct invasion (38.2%, 13 of 34), enlargement of lymph nodes (50%, 17 of 34), "smudged" appearance (26.5%, nine of 34), "omental caking" (5.9%, two of 34), cystic mass (2.9%, one of 34), and varices of the omentum (2.9%, one of 34). We also found that gastric carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumor invaded the transverse colon through the gastrocolic ligament in six patients (17.6%, six of 34).

CONCLUSION: CT scan is useful for detecting gastrocolic ligament involvement in gastric malignant neoplasm. The imaging features consist of a mass sign, enlargement of lymph nodes, smudged appearance, omental caking, and so on. Gastric malignant neoplasm also may involve the transverse colon through the gastrocolic ligament.

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