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New Imaging Technique Identifies Cervical Cancer

Diffusion-weighted MRI in combination with T2-weighted imaging may improve early detection

THURSDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Diffusion-weighted MRI in combination with T2-weighted MRI may improve the detection of small-volume, early-stage invasive cervical cancer, according to the results of a pilot study published in the October issue of Radiology.

Elizabeth M. Charles-Edwards, of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, U.K., and colleagues evaluated the new technique in 59 women aged 24 to 83. They divided the subjects into two groups: 20 women who were awaiting biopsies due to abnormalities in cervical tissue and 18 women with confirmed invasive cervical cancer (group 1), and 21 women who required evaluation for the presence of invasive disease (group 2).

The researchers found that diffusion was reduced in cancerous tissue compared to normal tissue, and stated that the technique showed a trend toward improved sensitivity and specificity in detecting Ia and Ib1 invasive cervical cancer with reduced intraobserver variation.

"High-spatial-resolution images obtained with an endovaginal coil together with diffusion-weighted MRI may allow more accurate identification of small tumors and improve treatment planning, particularly when considering fertility-sparing procedures in patients with stage Ia and Ib1 invasive cervical carcinoma," the authors write.

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