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Radiographics. 2000 Nov-Dec;20(6):1539-49.

MR imaging of cervical carcinoma: a practical staging approach.

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Department of Radiology, CHUM, Hôpital Notre-Dame, 1560 Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Cervical carcinoma is the third most common gynecologic malignancy and is typically seen in younger women, often with serious consequences. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system provides worldwide epidemiologic and treatment response statistics. However, there are significant inaccuracies in the FIGO staging system, and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, although not included in that system, is now widely accepted as optimal for evaluation of important prognostic factors such as lesion volume and metastatic lymph node involvement that will help determine the treatment strategy. MR imaging examination obviates the use of invasive procedures such as cystoscopy and proctoscopy, especially when there is no evidence of local extension. Brachytherapy and external beam therapy are optimized with MR imaging evaluation of the shape and direction of lesion growth. In general, T2-weighted MR imaging more clearly delineates cervical carcinoma and is preferred for evaluation of the lymph nodes. Dynamic gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted imaging may help identify smaller tumors, detect or confirm invasion of adjacent organs, and identify fistulous tracts. MR imaging staging, when available, is invaluable for identifying important prognostic factors and optimizing treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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