Locally recurrent rectal cancer: what the radiologist should know

  • Dhakshinamoorthy Ganeshan
  • Stephanie Nougaret
  • Elena Korngold
  • Gaiane M. Rauch
  • Courtney C. MorenoEmail author
Special Section: Rectal Cancer


Despite advances in surgical techniques and chemoradiation therapy, recurrent rectal cancer remains a cause of morbidity and mortality. After successful treatment of rectal cancer, patients are typically enrolled in a surveillance strategy that includes imaging as studies have shown improved prognosis when recurrent rectal cancer is detected during imaging surveillance versus based on development of symptoms. Additionally, patients who experience a complete clinical response with chemoradiation therapy may elect to enroll in a “watch-and-wait” strategy that includes imaging surveillance rather than surgical resection. Factors that increase the likelihood of recurrence, patterns of recurrence, and the imaging appearances of recurrent rectal cancer are reviewed with a focus on CT, PET CT, and MR imaging.


Rectal cancer Magnetic resonance imaging Recurrent rectal cancer 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dhakshinamoorthy Ganeshan
    • 1
  • Stephanie Nougaret
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elena Korngold
    • 4
  • Gaiane M. Rauch
    • 1
  • Courtney C. Moreno
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Montpellier Cancer Research InstituteIRCM, Montpellier Cancer Research InstituteMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Department of Radiology, Montpellier Cancer InstituteINSERM, U1194, University of MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  5. 5.Department of Radiology and Imaging SciencesEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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