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10-02-2015 | Gynecologic cancers | Article

PET/CT and MRI in the imaging assessment of cervical cancer

Abdominal Imaging

Authors: Joanna Kusmirek, Jessica Robbins, Hailey Allen, Lisa Barroilhet, Bethany Anderson, Elizabeth A. Sadowski

Publisher: Springer US


Imaging plays a central role in the evaluation of patients with cervical cancer and helps guide treatment decisions. The purpose of this pictorial review is to describe magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) assessment of cervical cancer, including indications for imaging, important findings that may result in management change, as well as limitations of both modalities. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics cervical cancer staging system does not officially include imaging; however, the organization endorses the use of MR imaging and PET/CT in the management of patients with cervical cancer where these modalities are available. MR imaging provides the best visualization of the primary tumor and extent of soft tissue disease. PET/CT is recommended for assessment of nodal involvement, as well as distant metastases. Both MR imaging and PET/CT are used to follow patients post-treatment to assess for recurrence. This review focuses on the current MR imaging and PET/CT protocols, the utility of these modalities in assessing primary tumors and recurrences, with emphasis on imaging findings which change management and on imaging pitfalls to avoid. It is important to be familiar with the MR imaging and PET/CT appearance of the primary tumor and metastasis, as well as the imaging pitfalls, so that an accurate assessment of disease burden is made prior to treatment.

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