Advanced MRI in malignant neoplasms of the uterus

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 Feb;37(2):249-64. doi: 10.1002/jmri.23716.


Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) such as T1-weighted and T2-weighted images of the female pelvis provide morphological information with excellent tissue contrast, which reflects the pathology of malignant diseases of the uterus. Owing to the recent improvement in hardware and software, in combination with extensive research in imaging techniques, not only MRI at higher magnetic field was facilitated, but also insight into tumor pathophysiology was provided. These methods include diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) with pharmacokinetic analysis, and MR spectroscopy (MRS). The application of these techniques is expanding from the brain to the body because information on the tissue microenvironment and cytoarchitecture is helpful for lesion characterization, evaluation of treatment response after chemotherapy or radiation, differentiating posttherapeutic changes from residual active tumor, and for detecting recurrent cancer. These techniques may provide clues to optimize the treatment of patients with malignant diseases of the uterus. In the first half of this article we provide an overview of the technical aspects of MRI of the female pelvis, especially focusing on the state-of-the-art techniques such as 3 T MRI, DCE-MRI, DWI, etc. For the latter half we review the clinical aspects of these newly developed techniques, focusing on how these techniques are applicable, what has been revealed with respect to clinical impact, and the remaining problems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Contrast Media*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Contrast Media