Diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography for advanced retinoblastoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ophthalmology. 2014 May;121(5):1109-18. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.11.021. Epub 2014 Mar 1.


Purpose: To determine and compare the diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) for the diagnosis of tumor extent in advanced retinoblastoma, using histopathologic analysis as the reference standard.

Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Participants: Patients with advanced retinoblastoma who underwent MRI, CT, or both for the detection of tumor extent from published diagnostic accuracy studies.

Methods: Medline and Embase were searched for literature published through April 2013 assessing the diagnostic performance of MRI, CT, or both in detecting intraorbital and extraorbital tumor extension of retinoblastoma. Diagnostic accuracy data were extracted from included studies. Summary estimates were based on a random effects model. Intrastudy and interstudy heterogeneity were analyzed.

Main outcome measures: Sensitivity and specificity of MRI and CT in detecting tumor extent.

Results: Data of the following tumor-extent parameters were extracted: anterior eye segment involvement and ciliary body, optic nerve, choroidal, and (extra)scleral invasion. Articles on MRI reported results of 591 eyes from 14 studies, and articles on CT yielded 257 eyes from 4 studies. The summary estimates with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the diagnostic accuracy of conventional MRI at detecting postlaminar optic nerve, choroidal, and scleral invasion showed sensitivities of 59% (95% CI, 37%-78%), 74% (95% CI, 52%-88%), and 88% (95% CI, 20%-100%), respectively, and specificities of 94% (95% CI, 84%-98%), 72% (95% CI, 31%-94%), and 99% (95% CI, 86%-100%), respectively. Magnetic resonance imaging with a high (versus a low) image quality showed higher diagnostic accuracies for detection of prelaminar optic nerve and choroidal invasion, but these differences were not statistically significant. Studies reporting the diagnostic accuracy of CT did not provide enough data to perform any meta-analyses.

Conclusions: Magnetic resonance imaging is an important diagnostic tool for the detection of local tumor extent in advanced retinoblastoma, although its diagnostic accuracy shows room for improvement, especially with regard to sensitivity. With only a few-mostly old-studies, there is very little evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of CT, and generally these studies show low diagnostic accuracy. Future studies assessing the role of MRI in clinical decision making in terms of prognostic value for advanced retinoblastoma are needed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Retinoblastoma / diagnosis*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*