Tumor recurrence versus fibrosis in the female pelvis: differentiation with MR imaging at 1.5 T

Radiology. 1988 Feb;166(2):333-40. doi: 10.1148/radiology.166.2.3422025.


Twenty-two women with previous malignancies of the pelvis were examined with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. In 21 of 22 patients, the MR imaging findings were confirmed with laparotomy on transvaginal biopsy. Twelve of the 22 patients had recurrent tumors; ten had a localized fibrotic mass, and two were found to have coexistent local fibrotic masses and distant recurrence. In 11 of the 12 patients with recurrence, MR imaging demonstrated the recurrent tumor as an area of increased signal intensity on long repetition time, long echo time spin-echo pulse sequences. Signal intensity of localized fibrosis varied with the time since initial treatment. Separate signal intensity measurements for T1- and T2-weighted images were obtained in regions of interest in recurrent tumors, early fibrosis (1-6 months after first treatment), and late fibrosis (more than 12 months). Ratios of signal intensity of muscle to that of fat were calculated, and a statistical analysis (Student t test) was performed. On heavily T2-weighted pulse sequences, the differences in signal intensity between late fibrosis and recurrent tumors were statistically significant (P less than .001). MR imaging is useful in identifying recurrent pelvic neoplasm and distinguishing it from posttreatment fibrosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Pelvis / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed