Abdominal Imaging - Original Article

Multiparametric MRI of rectal cancer—repeatability of quantitative data: a feasibility study


  • Bengi Gürses
  • Emre Altınmakas
  • Medine Böge
  • M. Serhat Aygün
  • Onur Bayram
  • Emre Balık

Received Date: 11.03.2019 Accepted Date: 22.10.2019 Diagn Interv Radiol 2020;26(2):87-94


In this study, we aimed to analyze the repeatability of quantitative multiparametric rectal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parameters with different measurement techniques.


All examinations were performed with 3 T MRI system. In addition to routine sequences for rectal cancer imaging protocol, small field-of-view diffusion-weighted imaging and perfusion sequences were acquired in each patient. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was used for diffusion analysis and ktrans was used for perfusion analysis. Three different methods were used in measurement of these parameters; measurements were performed twice by one radiologist for intraobserver and separately by three radiologists for interobserver variability analysis. ADC was measured by the lowest value, the value at maximum wall thickness, and freehand techniques. Ktrans was measured at the slice with maximum wall thickness, by freehand drawn region of interest (ROI), and at the dark red spot with maximum value.


A total of 30 patients with biopsy-proven rectal adenocarcinoma were included in the study. The mean values of the parameters measured by the first radiologist on the first and second measurements were as follows: mean lowest ADC, 721.31±147.18 mm2/s and 718.96±135.71 mm2/s; mean ADC value on the slice with maximum wall thickness, 829.90±144.24 mm2/s and 829.48±149.23 mm2/s; mean ADC value measured by freehand ROI on the slice with maximum wall thickness, 846.56±136.31 mm2/s and 848.23±144.15 mm2/s; mean ktrans value on the slice with maximum wall thickness, 0.219±0.080 and 0.214±0.074; mean ktrans by freehand ROI technique (including as much tumoral tissue as possible), 0.208±0.074 and 0.207±0.069; mean ktrans measured from the dark red foci, 0.308±0.109 and 0.311±0.105. Intraobserver agreement was very good among diffusion and perfusion parameters obtained with all three measurement techniques. Interobserver agreement was very good, except for one of the measurement techniques. As far as interobserver variability is considered, only ADC value measured on the slice with maximum wall thickness differed significantly.


Multiparametric MRI of rectum, using ADC as the diffusion and ktrans as the perfusion parameter is a repeatable technique. This technique may potentially be used in prediction and evaluation of neoadjuvant treatment response. New studies with larger patient groups are needed to validate the role of multiparametric MRI.