OBJECTIVES: To assess the value of MRI and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) for diagnosing local tumour regrowth during follow-up of organ preservation treatment after chemoradiotherapy for rectal cancer. METHODS: Seventy-two patients underwent organ preservation treatment (chemoradiotherapy + transanal endoscopic microsurgery or "wait-and-see") and were followed with MRI including DWI (1.5 T) every 3 -months during the first year and 6 months during following years. Two readers scored each MRI for local regrowth using a confidence level, first on standard MRI, then on standard MRI+DWI. Histology and clinical follow-up were the standard reference. Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed and areas under the curve (AUC) and corresponding accuracy figures calculated on a per-scan basis. RESULTS: Four hundred and forty MRIs were assessed. Twelve patients developed local regrowth. AUC/sensitivity/specificity for standard MRI were 0.95/58 %/98 % (R1) and 0.96/58 % /100 % (R2). For standard MRI+DWI, these numbers were 0.86/75 %/97 % (R1) and 0.98/75 %/100 % (R2). After adding DWI, the number of equivocal scores decreased from 22 to 7 (R1) and from 40 to 20 (R2). CONCLUSIONS: Although there was no overall improvement in diagnostic performance in terms of AUC, adding DWI improved the sensitivity of MRI for diagnosing local tumour regrowth and lowered the rate of equivocal MRIs. KEY POINTS: * DWI improves sensitivity for detecting local tumour regrowth after organ preservation treatment. * In particular, DWI can aid in detecting small local recurrence. * DWI reduces the number of equivocal scores.
- Rectal neoplasms
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Organ preservation
- NEOADJUVANT CHEMORADIATION THERAPY
- TRANSANAL ENDOSCOPIC MICROSURGERY
- COMPLETE CLINICAL-RESPONSE