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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Apr;212(4):788-795. doi: 10.2214/AJR.18.20204. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

Accuracy of 3-T MRI for Preoperative T Staging of Esophageal Cancer After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy, With Histopathologic Correlation.

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1 Department of Radiology, Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Cancer Hospital, 127 Dongming Rd, Zhengzhou, China 450008.
2 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Cancer Hospital, Zhengzhou, China.
3 NEA MR Collaboration, Siemens Ltd. China, Shanghai, China.
4 Department of Pathology, Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Cancer Hospital, Zhengzhou, China.
5 MR-Predevelopment, Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Erlangen, Germany.
6 Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.



The purpose of this study was to explore the value of 3-T MRI for evaluating the preoperative T staging of esophageal cancer (EC) treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), with histopathologic confirmation.


This prospective study enrolled patients for whom endoscopic biopsy showed EC and pretreatment CT showed stage cT1N+M0 or cT2-T4aN0-N3M0. All patients received two cycles of NAC (paclitaxel and nedaplatin protocol) followed by 3-T MRI and surgical resection. Readers assigned a T category on MRI, and postoperative pathologic confirmation was considered the reference standard. Interreader agreement, the diagnostic accuracy of T staging on T2-weighted turbo spin-echo (TSE) BLADE (Siemens Healthcare), contrast-enhanced StarVIBE (Siemens Healthcare), high-resolution delayed phase StarVIBE, and the combination of the three sequences were analyzed and compared with postoperative pathologic T staging.


The study included 79 patients. Mean time between NAC and MRI was 23 days. Interreader agreements of T category assignment were excellent for T2-weighted TSE BLADE (κ = 0.810, p < 0.0001), contrast-enhanced StarVIBE (κ = 0.845, p < 0.0001), high-resolution delayed phase StarVIBE (κ = 0.897, p < 0.0001), and the combination of the three sequences (κ = 0.880, p < 0.0001). The highest accuracy for T0, T1, T2, and T4a lesions was on high-resolution delayed phase StarVIBE (96.2%, 92.4%, 91.1%, and 91.1% for reader 1; 94.9%, 89.9%, 91.1%, and 94.9% for reader 2), and the highest accuracy for T3 lesions was on T2-weighted TSE BLADE (92.4% and 94.9% for reader 1 and reader 2, respectively). Diagnostic accuracy of the combination of the three sequences was not improved compared with individual sequences.


High-resolution delayed phase StarVIBE had the highest diagnostic accuracy in staging EC after NAC for all T categories except T3, for which T2-weighted TSE BLADE had the highest accuracy. Combining all three sequences did not improve diagnostic accuracy.


MRI; esophageal cancer; neoadjuvant therapy; neoplasm staging


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