Colon cancer is currently staged with CT.
However, MRI is superior in the detection of colorectal liver metastasis, and MRI is standard in local staging of rectal cancer.
Optimal staging of colon cancer could become crucial in selecting patients for neoadjuvant treatment in the near future.
Dr Elias Nerad and colleagues evaluated the diagnostic performance of MRI for local staging of colon cancer.
The researchers performed a retrospective study conducted at the Maastricht University Medical Centre.
In total, the team included 55 patients with biopsy-proven colon carcinoma.
|MRI has a good sensitivity for tumor invasion through the bowel wall|
|Diseases of the Colon & Rectum|
All of the patients underwent an MRI of the abdomen and were retrospectively analyzed by 2 blinded, independent readers.
Histopathology after resection was the reference standard.
Both readers evaluated tumor characteristics, including invasion through bowel wall, invasion beyond bowel wall of ≥5 mm and/or invasion of surrounding organs, serosal involvement, extramural vascular invasion, and malignant lymph nodes.
The team found that MRI had a high sensitivity and specificity in detecting T3/T4 tumors, and a low sensitivity and high specificity in detecting T3cd/T4 tumors.
The researchers noted that for detecting serosal involvement and extramural vascular invasion, MRI had a high sensitivity and moderate specificity, as well as a moderate sensitivity and specificity in the detection of nodal involvement.
Interobserver agreements were predominantly good, and the more experienced reader achieved better results in the majority of these categories.
Dr Nerad's team comments, "MRI has a good sensitivity for tumor invasion through the bowel wall, extramural vascular invasion, and serosal involvement."
"In addition, together with its superior liver imaging, MRI might become the optimal staging modality for colon cancer."
"However, more research is needed to confirm this."