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Role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging as an Adjunct to Clinical Staging in Cervical Carcinoma

Bhosale, Priya MD*; Peungjesada, Silanath MD; Devine, Catherine MD*; Balachandran, Aparna MD*; Iyer, Revathy MD*

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: November-December 2010 - Volume 34 - Issue 6 - p 855-864
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3181ed3090
Abdominal Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging depicts the morphological details of the female pelvis and is useful for evaluating both benign and malignant cervical masses. Clinical assessment of the extent of cervical cancer is crucial in determining the optimal treatment strategy, but clinical staging by itself has limitations. Clinical staging, as defined by FIGO (International Federation of Gynecologic Oncology), is based on the findings of physical examination, lesion biopsies, chest radiography, cystoscopy, and renal sonography and can be erroneous, depending on the stage of the disease, by 16% to 65%. The prognosis of cervical cancer is determined not only by stage, but also by nodal status, tumor volume, and depth of invasion, none of which are included in the FIGO guidelines. Magnetic resonance imaging has been described as the most accurate, noninvasive imaging modality in staging cervical carcinoma. This review outlines the magnetic resonance features of normal cervix, primary disease (by stage), and recurrent disease and discusses the role of magnetic resonance imaging in staging and clinical decision making.

From the *Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; and †Department of Radiology Services, VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, TX.

Received for publication March 31, 2010; accepted June 14, 2010.

Reprints: Priya Bhosale, MD, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Unit 38, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030 (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.