Added value of diffusion-weighted MRI in detection of cervical cancer recurrence: comparison with morphologic and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI sequences

Diagn Interv Radiol. Sep-Oct 2015;21(5):368-75. doi: 10.5152/dir.2015.14427.


Purpose: We aimed to evaluate the added value of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detecting post-treatment cervical cancer recurrence. The detection accuracy of T2-weighted (T2W) images was compared with that of T2W MRI combined with either dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI or DWI.

Methods: Thirty-eight women with clinically suspected uterine cervical cancer recurrence more than six months after treatment completion were examined with 1.5 Tesla MRI including T2W, DCE, and DWI sequences. Disease was confirmed histologically and correlated with MRI findings. The diagnostic performance of T2W imaging and its combination with either DCE or DWI were analyzed. Sensitivity, positive predictive value, and accuracy were calculated.

Results: Thirty-six women had histologically proven recurrence. The accuracy for recurrence detection was 80% with T2W/DCE MRI and 92.1% with T2W/DWI. The addition of DCE sequences did not significantly improve the diagnostic ability of T2W imaging, and this sequence combination misclassified two patients as falsely positive and seven as falsely negative. The T2W/DWI combination revealed a positive predictive value of 100% and only three false negatives.

Conclusion: The addition of DWI to T2W sequences considerably improved the diagnostic ability of MRI. Our results support the inclusion of DWI in the initial MRI protocol for the detection of cervical cancer recurrence, leaving DCE sequences as an option for uncertain cases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


  • Contrast Media