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J Radiol. 2006 Dec;87(12 Pt 1):1821-30.

[External phased-array MR imaging preoperative assessment of rectal cancer].

[Article in French]

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Université Paris-Descartes, Faculté de médecine Cochin-Port-Royal, 24 rue du Faubourg St-Jacques, 75014 Paris.


The main problem associated with rectal cancer treatment is tumor recurrence. Randomized controlled studies have shown that adjuvant preoperative radiation therapy is effective for reducing local recurrence. These studies have also demonstrated that there are groups of rectal cancer patients with differing degrees of risk for local recurrence. At one end of the spectrum is the low-risk group: patients with superficial rectal cancer, who can be treated with surgery alone. At the other end is the high-risk group: patients with a close or involved resection margin at total mesorectal excision, the very advanced tumors that require a longer course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and extensive surgery. Paramount for this selection and differentiated treatment is a reliable preoperative test that can be used to distinguish these groups of patients. In this review article, we will discuss the role of high-resolution phased array MRI among the other imaging modalities such as endorectal MRI, endorectal US, and CT. We will also discuss and illustrate MR imaging results in terms of T stage, circumferential resection margin, locally advanced rectal cancer, and N stage.

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