CT and 3 Tesla MRI in the TN Staging of Colon Cancer: A Prospective, Blind Study

Søren R. Rafaelsen*, Claus Dam, Chris Vagn-Hansen, Jakob Møller, Hans B. Rahr, Mikkel Sjöström, Jan Lindebjerg, Torben Frøstrup Hansen, Malene Roland Vils Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

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(1) Background: Computer tomography (CT) scanning is currently the standard method for staging of colon cancer; however, the CT based preoperative local staging is far from optimal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compared to CT in the T-and N-staging of colon cancer. (2) Methods: Patients underwent a standard contrast-enhanced CT examination. For the abdominal MRI scan, a 3 Tesla unit was used, including diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). Experienced radiologists reported the CT and MRI scans blinded to each other and the endpoint of the pathological report. (3) Results: From 2018 to 2021, 134 patients received CT and MRI scans. CT identified 118 of the 134 tumors, whereas MRI identified all tumors. For discriminating between stage T3ab and T3cd, the sensitivity of CT was 51.1% and of MRI 80.0% (p = 0.02). CT and MRI showed a sensitivity of 21.4% and 46.4% in detecting pT4 tumors and a specificity of 79.0% and 85.0%, respectively. (4) Conclusion: Compared to CT, the sensitivity of MRI was statistically significantly higher in staging advanced T3cd and T4 tumors. MRI has the potential to be used in the treatment planning of colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1069-1079
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Colon cancer
  • CT
  • DWI
  • Lymph node
  • MRI
  • T-staging


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