Objective: This study was performed to compare the diagnostic efficacy of MR imaging in the preoperative evaluation of invasive cervical cancer using the pelvic phased array coil in combination with fast spin-echo T2-weighted imaging and the body coil in combination with conventional spin-echo T2-weighted imaging.
Materials and methods: Ninety-four women (22-68 years old) with invasive cervical cancer underwent MR imaging (at 1.5 T) using a body coil conventional spin-echo protocol (n = 62) or a phased array coil fast spin-echo protocol (n = 32). Imaging preceded surgery by no more than 5 weeks. MR images were evaluated for tumor size, local stage, and nodal metastasis using surgical pathology as the standard of reference.
Results: Overall staging accuracy for the body coil conventional spin-echo protocol (89%) was not significantly different from that of the phased array coil fast spin-echo protocol (91%). Both techniques also achieved similar accuracy in diagnosing parametrial invasion (95% versus 94%) and lymph node metastases (85% versus 91%) and in tumor sizing (correlation coefficient, .93 versus .94).
Conclusion: In the preoperative staging of cervical carcinoma by MR imaging, both the newer (phased array coil fast spin-echo protocol) and the older (body coil conventional spin-echo protocol) techniques achieved similarly high accuracies in local staging, assessment of parametrial invasion, and evaluation of tumor size. Decreased imaging time and increased image resolution are advantages of the newer technique, although in our series they did not increase staging accuracy.