Diffusion weighted imaging in gynecological malignancies - present and future

World J Radiol. 2016 Mar 28;8(3):288-97. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v8.i3.288.


The management of gynaecological malignancies has undergone a significant change in recent years with our improved understanding of cancer biogenetics, development of new treatment regimens and enhanced screening. Due to the rapid blooming of newer methods and techniques in gynaecology, surgery and oncology the scope and the role of imaging has also widened. Functional imaging in the form of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) has been recently found to be very useful in assessing various tumours. Its ability to identify changes in the molecular level has dramatically changed the diagnostic approach of radiologists which was solely based on morphological criteria. It can improve the diagnostic accuracy of conventional magnetic resonance imaging, lend a hand in assessing tumour response to treatment regimens and detect tumour recurrence with better spatial resolution, negative radiation and diagnostic accuracy compared to positron emission tomography scan. The ability to quantify the diffusion has also lead to potential prediction of tumour aggressiveness and grade which directly correlate with the patient prognosis and management. Hence, it has become imperative for a radiologist to understand the concepts of DWI and its present and evolving role. In this article we present a brief description of the basics of DWI followed by its role in evaluation of female gynaecological malignancies.

Keywords: Diffusion weighted imaging; Female pelvis; Gynaecology; Magnetic resonance imaging; Malignancy.

Publication types

  • Review