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Radiology. 2008 Nov;249(2):541-50. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2491072165.

Diffusion-weighted imaging in cervical cancer with an endovaginal technique: potential value for improving tumor detection in stage Ia and Ib1 disease.

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  • 1Cancer Research UK Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research Group, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Surrey, England.



To establish apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) of invasive cervical carcinoma compared with nontumor cervical epithelium and determine sensitivity and specificity of diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging used in conjunction with T2-weighted MR imaging to help detect invasive cervical carcinoma in patients with stage Ia and Ib1 disease.


Local research ethics committee approval was obtained with written consent from each subject. Group 1 comprised patients (mean age, 38.7 years +/- 13.2 [standard deviation]) with histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) found on smear (n = 20) or stage Ib1 cervical tumors (n = 18). Patients were imaged with endovaginal T2-weighted fast spin-echo and single-shot DW echo-planar MR imaging of the cervix. ADCs from invasive cervical carcinoma and nontumor regions were compared within (t test) and between (U test) patients. A derived threshold ADC level indicative of invasive cervical carcinoma was used with T2-weighted imaging by two independent observers to identify possible invasive cervical carcinoma in group 2, patients with suspected disease (n = 21; mean age, 42.0 years +/- 16.4). Surgical specimens were the reference standard. Interobserver agreement was assessed.


In group 1, ADCs from cervical carcinoma (757 x 10(-6) mm(2)/sec +/- 110) and adjacent epithelium (1331 x 10(-6) mm(2)/sec +/- 159) or CIN (1291 x 10(-6) mm(2)/sec +/- 156) were significantly different (P < .0001). In group 2, respective sensitivity and specificity to help detect invasive cervical carcinoma on T2-weighted images were 55.6% and 75% for observer 1 and 66.7% and 41.7% for observer 2, and 88.9% and 66.7% for observer 1 and 77.8% and 58.3% for observer 2 when ADC maps with a threshold level of 1100 x 10(-6) mm(2)/sec were added. Interobserver agreement was fair (kappa = 0.37) for T2-weighted images alone and good (kappa = 0.80) with ADC included.


ADCs from invasive cervical carcinoma are significantly lower than those from nontumor epithelium; good interobserver agreement by using T2-weighted and DW MR imaging makes this technique potentially useful to help detect early-stage disease.

(c) RSNA, 2008.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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