Preoperative staging of rectal cancer by endoluminal ultrasound vs. magnetic resonance imaging. Preliminary results of a prospective, comparative study.
The aim of this study was to compare the value of endoluminal ultrasonography (ELUS) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for preoperative staging of rectal carcinoma.
Thirty-seven consecutive patients were examined by ELUS and MRI. Imaging results were compared with pathohistologic studies. A tumor extending beyond the bowel wall was considered to be "positive" and one within the bowel wall was considered "negative." Lymph node involvement was considered present if nodes equal to or greater than 5 mm in diameter were found in the perirectal tissue. For evaluating the differences between the two methods, the Mc Nemar test was performed.
T-Staging was correct in 88.2 percent (30/34) of patients by ELUS and in 82.3 percent (28/34) by MRI (difference not significant). N-Staging was correct in 80 percent (20/25) by ELUS and in 60 percent (15/25) by MRI (difference of borderline significance). A comprehensive preoperative staging (T + N) was made correctly in 68 percent (17/25) by ELUS and in 48 percent only (12/25) by MRI (difference not significant).
We suggest that ELUS and MRI must be evaluated within the framework of established parameters when treatment modalities such as preoperative radiation therapy and local or radical surgical approach must be decided.
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