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MRI imaging of the uterine arterial blood flow in normal and malignant uterine tissue by means of 2d-multiphase tagging technic

H. Hawighorst, M. Bock, M. Knopp, M. Essig, S. Schoenberg, P. Knapstein, L. Schad and G. van Kaick

Radiologe, 38 (6), pp.539-544

PURPOSE: The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate a 2D-STAR technique as a non contrast-enhanced approach to demonstrate the uterine artery and its branches and to assess the cervical uterine blood flow in healthy volunteers and in patients with advanced uterine cervical carcinoma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seven healthy volunteers (mean age, 29 years) and twenty-two patients (mean age, 52 years) with advanced cancer of the uterine cervix (FIGO IIB-IVA) were prospectively examined by 2D-STAR imaging at different inversion delay times (300 ms-1900 ms) which showed the passage of a blood bolus through normal and malignant tissue of the uterine cervix. RESULTS: The uterine artery was well visualized with short inversion delay times of 300 ms to 500 ms. It was characterized as single or multiple helical loops before dividing into its intracervical branches. The intracervical branching was observed at inversion delay times of 500 ms-700 ms. With longer inversion delay times arterial signal enhancement disappeared and cervical tissue enhancement was noted. Enhancement of benign tissue was observed at inversion delay times of 1100 ms-1700 ms, and in malignant tissue at shorter inversion delay times of 900 ms-1300 ms. The maximum of this diffuse signal enhancement of benign tissue was seen at inversion delay times of 1500 ms (1100 ms-1700 ms), in malignant tissue at significantly (P < 0.05) shorter inversion delay times of 1100 ms (900 ms to 1300). CONCLUSION: Our preliminary results show that the vascular supply and blood flow of the normal uterine cervix and of advanced cervical cancer can be assessed by non contrast-enhanced 2D STAR imaging and that malignant cervical tissue is earlier and stronger perfused than normal cervical tissue.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 22.01.2019
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