Purpose: To assess magnetic resonance (MR) colonography as a method for detection of colorectal masses, with conventional colonoscopy as the reference standard.
Materials and methods: MR colonography was performed in 132 patients referred for colonoscopy because of the possible presence of a mass. After rectal filling with a gadopentetate dimeglumine and water enema, T1-weighted three-dimensional gradient-echo MR studies were acquired with the patient in the prone and supine positions. Water-sensitive single-shot fast spin-echo MR images were also obtained. Surface-rendered virtual endoscopic endoluminal views, orthogonal sections in three planes, and water-sensitive MR images were interactively assessed for presence of colorectal masses by two radiologists.
Results: MR colonography was well tolerated without sedation or analgesia. MR image quality was sufficient for diagnosis in 127 (96%) patients. Most small (</=5-mm-diameter) masses were overlooked at MR colonography, but 19 of 31 6-10-mm lesions and 26 of 27 large (>10-mm) lesions were correctly identified. For these large masses, MR colonography had a sensitivity of 93%, specificity of 99%, positive predictive value of 92%, and negative predictive value of 98% for detection of masses.
Conclusion: MR colonography is a promising modality for help in detecting colorectal mass lesions larger than 10 mm in diameter.