Purpose: The purpose of this work was to evaluate the characteristic appearance of untreated retinoblastoma on a large sample in comparison to the histological findings after therapeutical enucleation.
Materials and methods: In a prospective clinical trial 46 children with retinoblastoma in 63 affected untreated eyes were examined under general anesthesia on MRI using a 1.5-T system. The examinations were performed with a special surface coil applying an examination protocol including fast T2- and T1-weighted spin echo sequences and additional fast T1-WI after intravenous injection of Gd-DTPA in different planes. The imaging results were compared to the histopathological findings in 29 patients with 30 affected eyes.
Results: Comparing MRI findings and histopathological results, optic nerve infiltration was detected with a sensitivity of 53.8% and a specificity of 82.3% on MRI, infiltration of the choroid with a sensitivity of 75.0% and a specificity of 100.0%, and the degree of tumor calcification with a sensitivity of 91.7% and a specificity of 88.9%. In this study the characteristic MR appearance of untreated retinoblastoma was evaluated.
Conclusion: MRI was helpful in relevant aspects of pretherapeutical retinoblastoma staging, deficits remain regarding optic nerve infiltration.