Chest Imaging - Original Article

Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI for advanced esophageal cancer response assessment after concurrent chemoradiotherapy


  • Na-Na Sun
  • Chang Liu
  • Xiao-Lin Ge
  • Jie Wang

Received Date: 10.10.2017 Accepted Date: 12.03.2018 Diagn Interv Radiol 2018;24(4):195-202


We aimed to evaluate the treatment response of patients with esophageal cancer after concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CRT) using dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI).


This retrospective study included 59 patients with histologically confirmed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The patients underwent DCE-MRI before and 4 weeks after CRT. Patients with complete response were defined as the CR group; partial response, stable disease, and progressive disease patients were defined as the non-CR group. DCE-MRI parameters (Ktrans, Ve, and Kep) were measured and compared between pre- and post-CRT in the CR and non-CR groups, respectively. Pre-CRT and post-CRT parameters were used to calculate the absolute change and the ratio of change. DCE-MRI parameters were compared between the CR and non-CR groups. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to verify diagnostic performance.


Patients with higher T-stage esophageal cancer might present with poorer response. After CRT, the Ktrans and Kep values significantly decreased in the CR group, whereas only Kep value decreased in the non-CR group. The post-Ktrans and post-Kep values were observed to be significantly lower in the CR group than in the non-CR group. The absolute change and ratio of change of both Ktrans and Kep were higher in the CR group than in the non-CR group. Based on ROC analysis, the ratio of change in Ktrans was the best parameter to assess treatment response (AUC= 0.840).


DCE-MRI parameters are valuable in predicting and assessing concurrent CRT response for advanced esophageal cancer.