Carpet lesions detected at CT colonography: Clinical, imaging, and pathologic features

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To describe carpet lesions (laterally spreading tumors ≥ 3 cm) detected at computed tomographic (CT) colonography, including their clinical, imaging, and pathologic features. Materials and Methods: The imaging reports for 9152 consecutive adults undergoing initial CT colonography at a tertiary center were reviewed in this HIPAA-compliant, institutional review board-approved retrospective study to identify all potential carpet lesions detected at CT colonography. Carpet lesions were defined as morphologically flat, laterally spreading tumors 3 cm or larger. For those patients with neoplastic carpet lesions, CT colonography studies were analyzed to determine maximal lesion width and height, oral contrast material coating, segmental location, and computer-aided detection (CAD) findings. Demographic data and details of clinical treatment in these patients were reviewed. Results: Eighteen carpet lesions in 18 patients (0.2%; mean age, 67.1 years; eight men, 10 women) were identified and were subsequently confirmed at colonoscopy and pathologic examination among 20 potential flat masses (≥ 3 cm) prospectively identified at CT colonography (there were two nonneoplastic rectal false-positive findings). No additional neoplastic carpet lesions were found in the cohort undergoing colonoscopy after CT colonography and/or surgery (there were no false-negatives). Mean lesion width was 46.5 mm (range, 30-80 mm); mean lesion height was 7.9 mm (range, 4-14 mm). Surface retention of oral contrast material was noted in all 18 cases. All but two lesions were located in the distal rectosigmoid or proximal right colon. At CAD, 17 (94.4%) lesions were detected (mean, 6.2 CAD marks per lesion). Sixteen lesions (88.9%) demonstrated advanced histologic features, including a villous component (n = 11), high-grade dysplasia (n = 4), and invasive cancer (n = 5). Sixteen patients (88.9%) required surgical treatment for complete excision. Conclusion: CT colonography can effectively depict carpet lesions. Common features in this series included older patient age, rectal or cecal location, surface coating with oral contrast material, multiple CAD hits, advanced yet typically benign histologic features, and surgical treatment. © RSNA, 2013.
  • Published In

  • Radiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pickhardt PJ; Lam VP; Weiss JM; Kennedy GD; Kim DH
  • Start Page

  • 435
  • End Page

  • 443
  • Volume

  • 270
  • Issue

  • 2