MRI findings before and after abdominal radical trachelectomy (ART) for cervical cancer: a prospective study and review of the literature

Clin Radiol. 2014 Jul;69(7):678-86. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Mar 11.


Aim: To report the authors' experience with dedicated pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in young women with early-stage cervical cancer treated with abdominal radical trachelectomy (ART).

Materials and methods: During a 5-year period, 21 patients, with biopsy-confirmed cervical carcinoma, International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage ≤IB1, were considered for trachelectomy. All patients underwent pelvic MRI within 30 days prior to surgery. Tumour size, endocervical extension, extrauterine spread, and nodal status were noted. Postoperative MRI findings were reviewed in 16 patients.

Results: Nineteen of the 21 patients were treated with ART. In two patients, trachelectomy was aborted intraoperatively and radical hysterectomy was performed; preoperative MRI findings were consistent with surgicopathological examination in both patients. MRI correctly assessed tumour size in 18/21 patients, coming within 5 mm of the surgical specimen. Tumour size was underestimated in two cases because of circumferential growth (n = 1) or technical difficulties (n = 1). False-positive MRI result was due to post-biopsy inflammation (n = 1). MRI accurately identified absence of internal os involvement in 17/19 ART patients; false-positive MRI for internal os involvement were due to endocervical polyp (n = 1) and coexisting Nabothian cysts (n = 1). No trachelectomy patient had extrauterine disease or malignant nodes at MRI or final histology. Post-trachelectomy complications included hydrosalpinges (n = 3), lymphocysts (n = 2), isthmic stenosis (n = 1), and tumour relapse (n = 2).

Conclusions: Dedicated pelvic MRI is helpful in assessing tumour size and endocervical extension in young women, candidates for ART. Hydrosalpinx may occur after ART and it may influence fertility potential.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Burden
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery