Retinoblastoma: MR imaging parameters in detection of tumor extent

Radiology. 2005 Apr;235(1):197-207. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2351031301. Epub 2005 Feb 4.


Purpose: To assess diagnostic accuracy of preoperatively performed magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for detection of tumor extent in a large patient population with histopathologically proved retinoblastoma.

Materials and methods: Local ethics committee approval and informed consent were not required for retrospective review of patients' images and records. Fifty-eight eyes in 28 girls (mean age, 21 months; range, 2-59 months) and 28 boys (mean age, 24 months; range, 2-76 months) with retinoblastoma were retrospectively reviewed by one radiologist on unenhanced T1-weighted, dual-echo T2-weighted, and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted MR images. MR imaging parameters such as growth pattern, anterior chamber hyperintensity, and involvement of choroid, ciliary body, optic nerve, sclera, orbital fat, and pineal gland were determined. Tumor volume was measured and correlated to metastatic risk factors. Imaging and pathologic findings were compared. Statistical analysis was performed by using logistic regression with log likelihood ratio chi(2) test or Fisher exact test.

Results: Choroidal invasion was suspected with MR imaging in 21 eyes; findings were false-positive in 13 eyes and false-negative in three (73% sensitivity, 72% specificity, 72% accuracy). Anterior chamber hyperintensity on T1-weighted MR images obtained after contrast agent administration correlated well with clinical presence of reactive neovascular processes. MR imaging findings were true-positive in 21 of 32 eyes with proved prelaminar optic nerve invasion (66% sensitivity) and false-positive in one (96% specificity, 79% accuracy). Postlaminar optic nerve invasion was correctly detected in two eyes; in two other eyes, this metastatic risk factor was missed (50% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 97% accuracy). Scleral and extrascleral tumor invasion were correctly excluded in all eyes. Tumor volume was statistically associated with prelaminar optic nerve invasion (P = .001) and choroidal invasion (P = .031).

Conclusion: MR imaging is accurate for tumor staging and detection of metastatic risk factors; detection of intraocular tumor infiltration remains difficult. Tumor volume, measured with MR imaging, was associated with prelaminar optic nerve and choroidal involvement.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Retinoblastoma / pathology*