Purpose: To assess the role of contrast-enhanced helical CT in the evaluation of tumour vascularity in endocrine pancreatic tumours (EPTs), and to determine the predictive factors of malignancy of EPTs at helical CT with CT-histopathological correlation. Materials and Methods: Thirty-seven consecutive patients with histopathologically proven EPTs underwent dual-phase helical CT. For each tumour detected, its density relative to the surrounding parenchyma was scored on the pancreatic phase using a 5-point scale. Radiological findings were correlated with histopathological (vessel density count) and clinical follow-up findings. Results: Thirty of 37 patients had non-functioning EPTs and overall 44 tumours were detected by helical CT (mean size 38, range 5–100 mm). CT showed calcifications in 10 tumours. Calcifications were associated with well-differentiated carcinomas (90%, p = 0.02). Vascular density assessed by light microscopy was significantly correlated with tumour enhancement at the pancreatic phase (p = 0.0001). Poorly differentiated carcinomas were less vascularised than well-differentiated tumours and carcinomas (34 vs. 264 vessels/mm2, p = 0.0073). Tumour differentiation also correlated with tumour enhancement at the pancreatic phase (p = 0.0044, trend test): poorly differentiated carcinomas were hypoattenuating (71%) and isoattenuating or weakly hyperattenuating (29%), compared with well-differentiated carcinomas and tumours that were mainly moderately or strongly hyperattenuating (53%). In univariate analysis, poor tumoral differentiation, hepatic metastasis, high mitotic index, poor tumoral enhancement at the pancreatic phase and less vascularised tumours were correlated with decreased survival rate. Conclusion: Enhancement of EPT at CT is correlated with tumour vascularity assessed by light microscopy. Low-enhancing EPT at CT are correlated with poorly differentiated EPT and with a decrease in overall survival.

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