Can MR imaging be useful in differentiating low rectal cancer from anal cancer?
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To evaluate the role of pelvic MR imaging in differentiating between low rectal and anal cancers using the pathological results as the gold standard.
Materials and methods
In this study, retrospective analysis of 100 patients with a history of low rectal (n = 50) or anal (n = 50) cancers who underwent staging pelvic MR imaging before treatment was performed. The following parameters were analyzed: distance from the anal verge to the tumor, percentage of tumor above puborectalis muscle, tumor size, T2W signal intensity, sphincter/levator muscles invasion, organ invasion, and MRI diagnosis. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine factors associated with low rectal and anal cancers. Distances from the anal verge to the tumor were compared using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
From the ROC curves, the cut-off value for the distance from the anal verge to the tumor in differentiating between low rectal and anal cancers was 2.1 cm and the area under the ROC curve was 0.90 (95% CI 0.84–0.97). Multivariate logistic regression revealed three significant factors in differentiating between low rectal and anal cancers, including T2 mixed hyper- and hyposignal intensity (OR 66.00, 95% CI 4.66–934.81), distance cut-off value (OR 34.72, 95% CI 5.73–210.27), and absence of sphincter invasion (OR 18.75, 95% CI 1.91–183.96), with sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of 98%, 88%, 89%, and 97%, respectively, and diagnostic accuracy increased from 79% (reader 1) and 82% (reader 2) to 93%.
MR imaging can be useful to differentiating between low rectal and anal cancers which benefits staging and treatment planning.
KeywordsLow rectal cancer Anal cancer MRI Cancer imaging
The authors thank Glenn Shingledecker for manuscript preparation.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was not funded.
Noting to disclose.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
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