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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Aug;211(2):W98-W108. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18807. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

JOURNAL CLUB: Primary Anorectal Melanoma: MRI Findings and Clinicopathologic Correlations.

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1 Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 88 Olympic-ro 43 Gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Republic of Korea.
2 Department of Pathology, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The purpose of this study is to evaluate the MRI features of primary anorectal malignant melanoma and to correlate these features with its clinical and pathologic characteristics.


The medical records of 12 patients (five men and seven women; mean age [± SD], 60.8 ± 10.0 years) with pathologically proven primary anorectal melanoma were retrospectively reviewed. MRI findings were analyzed to determine the shape, size, distance from the anal verge, presence of perirectal or anal infiltration, signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted images, presence of diffusion restriction, contrast enhancement pattern of the lesion, presence of lymphadenopathy, and occurrence of bowel obstruction. Subsequent follow-up data for the patients were recorded.


The most common presentation was hematochezia (41.7% of patients). Common findings on MRI included a large intraluminal polypoid mass (75.0% of lesions) with little perirectal or anal infiltration (100.0%), T1 hyperintensity (66.7%), high T2 signal intensity (54.5%) or mixed T2 signal intensity (45.5%), restricted diffusion (100.0%), and hyper-enhancement (100.0%). The mean length, width, and depth of these masses were 3.5, 2.9, and 2.3 cm, respectively. The mean distance from the anal verge was 1.8 cm. Lymphadenopathy was frequently identified (75.0% of cases), with lymph nodes larger than 2 cm noted in 28.5% of cases and most commonly involving the perirectal area (77.8% of cases). No colonic obstructions were observed. The mean patient follow-up was 32.7 months. A total of 25.0% of patients died as a result of disease progression.


The possibility of the presence of anorectal melanoma should be considered for patients with a bulky intraluminal polypoid mass in the anorectum without colonic obstruction, with the mass showing T1 hyperintensity, high or mixed signal T2 intensity, hyperenhancement, minimal perirectal or anal infiltration, and lymphadenopathy.


MRI; anal canal; melanoma; rectum

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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