Imaging techniques for the evaluation of ovarian cancer

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2014 Jul;28(5):697-720. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2014.04.006. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Women with ovarian cancer often present at advanced stage of disease. The outcome depends mainly on the stage of disease at first diagnosis, but also on the quality of treatment. For individualised tumour treatment, detailed assessment of tumour extension using modern imaging is crucial. Ultrasound remains the initial and most important imaging method for ovarian cancer detection. Although increasing evidence shows that ultrasound is an accurate technique to stage and follow up ovarian cancer, it requires an experienced examiner capable of examining both the pelvis and the abdomen. Computed tomography is the most commonly used imaging modality for preoperative staging and follow up. Magnetic resonance imaging remains a second-line imaging method for solving problems, mainly in the pelvis. Positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography is the optimal imaging technique for suspected recurrence, particularly in women with rising CA 125 levels, but negative results of conventional imaging methods.

Keywords: CT; FIGO staging; MRI; PET/CT; follow up; ovarian cancer staging; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CA-125 Antigen / analysis
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography


  • CA-125 Antigen
  • MUC16 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins