The accuracy of Multi-detector row CT for the assessment of tumor invasion of the mesorectal fascia in primary rectal cancer

R. Vliegen, R. Dresen, G. Beets, A. Daniels Gooszen, A. Kessels, J. van Engelshoven, R.G. Beets

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PURPOSE: To evaluate the accuracy of Multi-detector row CT (MDCT) for the prediction of tumor invasion of the mesorectal fascia (MRF). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 35 patients with primary rectal cancer underwent preoperative staging magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MDCT. The tumor relationship to the MRF, expressed in 3 categories (1--tumor free MRF = tumor distance > or = 1 mm; 2--threatened = distance < 1 mm; 3--invasion = distance 0 mm) was determined on CT by two observers at patient level and at different anatomical locations. A third expert reader evaluated the MRF tumor relationship on MRI, which served as reference standard. Receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC-curves) and areas under these curves (AUC) were calculated. The inter-observer agreement of CT was determined by using linear weighted kappa statistics. RESULTS: The AUC of CT for MRF invasion was 0.71 for observer 1 and 0.62 for observer 2. The inter-observer agreement was kappa = 0.34. The performance of CT at mid-high rectal levels was statistically significant better compared to low anterior (obs.1: AUC = 0.88 vs. 0.50; obs 2: AUC = 0.84 vs. 0.31; P < or = 0.040). CONCLUSION: Multi-detector row CT has a poor accuracy for predicting MRF invasion in low-anterior located tumors.The accuracy of CT significantly improves for tumors in the mid-high rectum. There is a high inconsistency among readers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-10
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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