• Vol. 32 No. 4, 550–556
  • 15 July 2003

Carcinoma of the Cervix: Role of MR Imaging



Staging is of paramount importance in cancer management. In cervical carcinoma, it is performed using the clinical International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system. However, besides some inherent inaccuracies, it does not include important prognostic factors such as tumour size, which may help determine treatment strategies. These shortcomings of the clinical FIGO staging system underline the importance of accurate imaging evaluation of cervical carcinoma. Although magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is not officially incorporated into current staging work-up assessment, it has been shown by a number of studies to be the most reliable imaging modality in the evaluation of cervical cancer and in treatment planning. It has the advantages of direct tumour visualisation, accurate assessment of the depth of stromal invasion and tumour volume, and lymph node evaluation. In this article, the utility of MR imaging in the evaluation of cervical carcinoma is reviewed.

In females with cancer, cervical carcinoma is second to breast cancer in both incidence and mortality worldwide. About 465,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in both developing and industrialised nations, with a higher incidence in women of low socioeconomic status.

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