MRI, CT, and PET/CT for ovarian cancer detection and adnexal lesion characterization

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010 Feb;194(2):311-21. doi: 10.2214/AJR.09.3522.


Objective: The purpose of this article is to describe the role of MR, CT, and PET/CT in the detection of ovarian cancer and the evaluation of adnexal lesions.

Conclusion: The goal of imaging in ovarian cancer detection is to expeditiously distinguish benign adnexal lesions from those requiring further pathologic evaluation for malignancy. For lesions indeterminate on ultrasound, MRI increases the specificity of imaging evaluation, thus decreasing benign resections. CT is useful in diagnosis and treatment planning of advanced cancer. Although (18)F-FDG-avid ovarian lesions in postmenopausal women are considered suspicious for malignancy, PET/CT is not recommended for primary cancer detection because of high false-positive rates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adnexal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Adnexal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Contrast Media
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18