ABSTRACT: To evaluate the impact of chemoradiation on the reliability of MRI in assessing tumor involvement of the mesorectal fascia in patients with rectal cancer.
Presurgical MRI was performed in 150 patients; among them 85 had received neoadjuvant long-course chemoradiation. A standardized imaging protocol (1.5 Tesla [T] system, image voxel size 0.6 × 0.4 × 3 mm(3) ), standardized surgery, and histopathological examination were applied for the entire patient population. Images were analyzed to identify potential tumor involvement of the mesorectal fascia (minimum tumor distance to fascia ≤1 mm) and compared with histopathology as the reference standard. Results of nonirradiated and irradiated patients were compared to define the impact of chemoradiation on imaging reliability.
In nonirradiated patients, MRI was reliable in predicting or excluding tumor involvement of the mesorectal fascia, positive predictive value 80%, negative predictive value 89%. The frequency of overestimating tumor involvement was significantly higher in irradiated patients (P = 0.005, positive predictive value 42%).
Discussions about MRI assessment of tumor involvement of the mesorectal fascia as a basis for recommending neoadjuvant chemoradiation should focus on investigations that excluded irradiated patients, because MRI is less reliable after chemoradiation and tends to overestimate mesorectal tumor involvement.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 05/2012; 36(3):658-63. · 2.70 Impact Factor