Diagnostic accuracy of high-resolution MRI as a method to predict potentially safe endoscopic and surgical planes in patients with early rectal cancer.
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Early rectal cancer (ERC) assessment should include prediction of the potential excision plane to safely remove lesions with clear deep margins and feasibility of organ preservation.MRI accuracy for differentiating ≤T1sm2 (partially preserved submucosa) or ≤T2 (partially preserved muscularis) versus >T2 tumours was compared with the gold standard of pT stage T1sm1/2 versus ≤pT2 versus >pT2. N stage was also compared. The MRI protocol employed a standard surface phased array coil with a high resolution (0.6×0.6×3 mm resolution). The staging data were analysed from a prospectively recorded database of all ERC (≤mrT3b) treated by primary surgery.Of 65 <mrT3b tumours, 45 were ≤pT2 and 14 were ≤pT1sm2. MRI accuracy for ≤T1sm2 was 89% (95% CI 63% to 87%), positive predictive value (PPV) 77% and negative predictive value (NPV) 92%, and for ≤T2 89% (95% CI 79% to 95%), PPV 93% and NPV 81%. Interobserver agreement between two experienced radiologists was >0.7 suggesting good agreement. 44 out of 65 patients underwent radical surgery and 22 out of 44 were ≤mrT2. MRI accuracy to predict lymph node status was 84% (95% CI 70% to 92%), PPV 71% and NPV 90%. Among the 21 out of 65 (32%) patients undergoing local excision or TEM, 20 out of 21 were staged as MR≤T2 and confirmed as such by pathology. On follow-up, none had relapse. If the decision had been made to offer local excision on MRI TN staging rather than clinical assessment, a significant increase in organ preservation surgery from 32% to 60% would have been observed (difference 23%, 95% CI 9% to 35%).MRI is a useful tool for multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) wishing to optimise treatment options for ERC; these study findings will be validated in a prospective multicentre trial.
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Medicine (RMH Smith Cunningham)
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BMJ open gastroenterology, 2017, 4 (1), pp. e000151 - ?