Rectal MRI: a multidisciplinary approach to optimising imaging for patient benefit

Author(s): Terence McGuckin, Juliet Polkey, Dr Anita Wale

Hospital: St George's Hospital, London

Reference: RAD Magazine, 48, 566, 19-20


Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK with approximately 42,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Rectal cancers account for between a quarter and a third of these. These cancers typically arise from malignant changes of colorectal adenomas. Adenomas are common and discovered in at least a quarter of colonoscopic procedures. MRI plays an important role in the imaging of rectal cancer due to its ability to produce images with excellent soft tissue contrast and is a vital component of the staging and treatment planning of the disease. However, UK MRI capacity is stretched and access to MRI scanners is increasingly difficult due to continual increased demand for MR imaging and lack of MRI resources. For this reason, MRI protocols need to be optimised to provide the diagnostic information required to make necessary decisions for patient management using as little scan time as possible.

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