Computed tomography in the detection of abdominal metastases from malignant melanoma.
Malignant melanoma is an unpredictable and often virulent cutaneous malignancy. Although computed tomography is the most sensitive method for detection of intrathoracic metastases, its value in the assessment of abdominal spread has not been fully defined. We evaluated the sites of CT-identified metastases in 70 patients with pathologically confirmed malignant melanoma. Results were correlated with Clark's level, Breslow thickness, site of the primary, and clinicopathologic stage. CT detected enlarged abdominal or pelvic lymph nodes in 75% of patients with Clark's level 5 lesions but only in 24% and 33% of those with level 3 and 4, respectively. Patients with deep primary lesions of the lower extremities had a high frequency of pelvic node metastases. Liver and splenic metastases were detected in up to 25% of patients with level 4 or 5 melanoma. Adrenal and subcutaneous metastases were frequently discovered as were unsuspected nodules at the lung bases.
Silverman, PM; Heaston, DK; Korobkin, M; Seigler, HF
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