Endometrial carcinoma: use of tracer kinetic modeling of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI for preoperative risk assessment

Cancer Imaging. 2022 Mar 9;22(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s40644-022-00452-8.


Background: To compare two tracer kinetic models in predicting of preoperative risk types in endometrial carcinoma (EC) using DCE-MRI.

Methods: A prospective study of patients with EC was conducted with institutional ethics approval and written informed consent. DCE-MRI data was analyzed using the extended Tofts (ET) and the distributed parameter (DP) models. DCE parameters blood flow (F), mean transit time, blood volume (Vp), extravascular extracellular volume (Ve), permeability surface area product (PS), extraction fraction, transfer constant (Ktrans), and efflux rate (Kep) between high- and low-risk EC were compared using the Mann-Whitney test. Bland-Altman analysis was utilized to compare parameter consistency and Spearman test to assess parameter correlation. Diagnostic performance of DCE parameters was analyzed by receiver-operating characteristic curve and compared with traditional MRI assessment.

Results: Fifty-one patients comprised the study group. Patients with high-risk EC exhibited significantly lower Ktrans, Kep, F, Vp and PS (P < 0.001). ET-derived Ktrans and DP-derived F attained AUC of 0.92 and 0.91, respectively. Bland-Altman analysis showed that the consistency of Ve or Vp between the two models was low (P < 0.001) while Spearman test showed a strong correlation (r = 0.719, 0.871). Both Ktrans and F showed higher accuracy in predicting EC risk types than traditional MRI assessment.

Conclusions: Kinetic parameters derived from DCE-MRI revealed a more hypovascular microenvironment for high risk EC than to low- risk ones, providing potential imaging biomarkers in preoperative risk assessment that might improve individualized surgical planning and management of EC.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI; Endometrial neoplasms; Risk assessment; Tumor microenvironment.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Contrast Media