Imaging of endometrial adenocarcinoma

Clin Radiol. 2006 Jul;61(7):545-55. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2006.03.011.


Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological malignancy and the incidence rising. Prognosis depends on age of patient, histological grade, depth of myometrial invasion and cervical invasion and lymph node metastases. Myometrial invasion and accurate cervical involvement cannot be predicted clinically. Pre-treatment knowledge of these criteria is advantageous in order to plan treatment. The clinical challenge is to effectively select patients at risk of relapse for more radical treatment whilst avoiding over treating low risk cases. This is important as endometrial cancer predominately occurs in postmenopausal women with co-morbidities. Modern imaging provides important tools in the accurate pre-treatment assessment of endometrial cancer and may optimize treatment planning. However, there is little consensus to date on imaging in the routine preoperative assessment of endometrial carcinoma and practice varies amongst many gynaecologists. Transvaginal ultrasound is often the initial imaging examination for women with uterine bleeding. However, once the diagnosis of endometrial cancer has been made, contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides the best assessment of the disease. The results of contrast-enhanced MRI may identify patients who need more aggressive therapy and referral to a cancer centre. In this article we review the role of imaging in the diagnosis and staging/preoperative assessment of endometrial carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnosis
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity