Pelvic MRI as the "gold standard" in the subsequent evaluation of ultrasound-indeterminate adnexal lesions: a systematic review

Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Mar;132(3):661-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.10.022. Epub 2013 Oct 29.


Objective: Incidentally discovered adnexal masses are common, posing a challenging diagnostic problem because imaging features of benign and malignant overlap. Thus, once an adnexal lesion has been detected, the primary goal of further imaging is accurate tissue characterization resulting in surgery only for lesions that are indeterminate or frankly malignant. This study aims to conduct a systematic review, following the PRISMA guidelines, and critically appraise pelvic MR Imaging as the preferred advanced second imaging test, as regards detection of ovarian cancer and assessment of indeterminate adnexal masses, with respect to pre-operatively improving the assignment of these patients to the appropriate level of care.

Methods: A comprehensive computerized systematic literature search of English language studies was performed (from 2002 to 2012) of PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Evidence Based Medicine Reviews (Cochrane Database and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), and Google Scholar. Relevant article reference lists were hand searched.

Results: Computerized database search revealed 37 citations of relevance, 10 of which fulfilled the inclusion/exclusion criteria. From the aforementioned, 8 articles were acquired (2 authors were contacted but did not respond) as well as assessed with AHRQ, QUADAS, and STARD evaluation tools. Finally, 6 papers (5 prospective and 1 retrospective) were included in the systematic review.

Conclusions: MRI with intravenous (IV) contrast administration provides the highest post-test probability of ovarian cancer detection. However, the preponderant contribution of MRI in adnexal mass evaluation is its specificity because it provides confident diagnosis of many benign adnexal lesions.

Keywords: Adnexal lesions; Ovarian cancer; Pelvic MRI; Second test; Ultrasound-indeterminate.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adnexal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Adnexal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography