Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of breath-hold two-dimensional (2D) fast low-angle shot (FLASH) and T2-weighted turbo spin-echo fast MR imaging compared with helical CT in the staging of gastric carcinoma.
Subjects and methods: Thirty patients with gastric carcinoma underwent preoperative MR imaging and helical CT. MR imaging at 1.5 T was performed immediately after the intramuscular injection of scopolamine and the oral administration of water or effervescent granules. Breath-hold 2D FLASH T1-weighted images in all three planes, turbo spin-echo T2-weighted axial images, and gadolinium-enhanced fat-suppressed 2D FLASH axial images were included. Helical CT was performed 60 sec after initiation of i.v. contrast medium injection (2.5-3 ml/sec). Two groups of two radiologists each independently analyzed the MR and helical CT findings, and these results were compared with the pathologic findings.
Results: For T staging, MR imaging accuracy was higher than that of helical CT (73.3% and 66.7%, respectively); however, the accuracies of the two methods were not significantly different from each other (McNemar test, p > 0.05). Overstaging was noted in 6.7% of cases with MR imaging and 10% with helical CT. Understaging was noted in 20% of cases with MR imaging and 23.3% with helical CT. For N staging, the accuracies of MR imaging and helical CT were 55% and 58.6%, respectively, with no statistical significance (overstaging, 10% and 6.9%; understaging, 34.5% and 34.5%, respectively).
Conclusion: MR imaging was comparable to helical CT in the T and N staging of gastric cancer.