The added role of MR imaging in treatment stratification of patients with gynecologic malignancies: what the radiologist needs to know

Radiology. 2013 Mar;266(3):717-40. doi: 10.1148/radiol.12120315.


Many treatment options are available to patients with endometrial, cervical, or ovarian cancer. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging plays an important role in the patient journey from the initial evaluation of the extent of the disease to appropriate treatment selection and follow-up. The purpose of this review is to highlight the added role of MR imaging in the treatment stratification and overall care of patients with endometrial, cervical, or ovarian cancer. Several MR imaging techniques used in evaluation of patients with gynecologic malignancies are described, including both anatomic MR imaging sequences (T1- and T2-weighted sequences) and pulse sequences that characterize tissue on the basis of physiologic features (diffusion-weighted MR imaging), dynamic contrast agent-enhanced MR imaging, and MR spectroscopy. MR imaging findings corresponding to the 2009 revised International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics staging of gynecologic malignancies are also described in detail, highlighting possible pearls and pitfalls of staging. With the growing role of the radiologist as a core member of the multidisciplinary treatment planning team, it is crucial for imagers to recognize that MR imaging has become central in tailoring treatment options and therapy in patients with gynecologic malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / pathology*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis