Computerized analysis of enhancement kinetics for preoperative lymph node staging in rectal cancer using dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging


      For this feasibility study, dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (dceMRI) was performed preoperatively in 9 patients with histologically proven rectal carcinoma. A total of 41 lymph nodes detected were matched to histopathology. Their contrast enhancement patterns were evaluated using computer-aided analysis and categorized in persistent, plateau, and washout curve type. Highest diagnostic accuracy for detecting malignancy was observed, when less than 31.8% of the voxels within a lymph node demonstrated a washout curve (sensitivity/specificity of 81.8%/89.7%; area under the curve, AUC=0.87). In comparison, conventional size measurements revealed lower AUC of 0.81 (sensitivity/specificity of 75%/72.4%). We conclude that dceMRI might be of diagnostic value for preoperative lymph node staging.


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