Mucinous versus nonmucinous rectal carcinomas: Differentiation with MR imaging

Shahid M. Hussain, Eric K. Outwater, Evan S. Siegelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine if quantitative and qualitative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging measures can help differentiation of mucinous from nonmucinous rectal tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 26 patients with pathologically proved mucinous (n = 9) and nonmucinous (n = 17) rectal tumors, MR imaging was performed with T1-weighted spin-echo (SE) and T2-weighted fast SE sequences in all patients and with a gadolinium-enchanced T1-weighted sequence in 18. With use of the signal intensity (SI) measurements in the tumors and reference tissues, tumor-to-muscle, tumor-to-fat, and tumor-to- urine SI ratios were calculated. IN addition, the SI and contrast-enhancement patterns in the tumors were assessed qualitatively by three blinded readers. RESULTS: Mucinous tumors had a much higher SI on the T2-weighted fast SE images. Tumor-to-muscle, tumor-to-fat, and tumor-to-urine SI ratios were significantly higher in the mucinous compared with the nonmucinous tumors (P = .0004, P = .0008, and P = .00002, respectively). Qualitative evaluation of the SI correlated well between readers 1 and 2 (r = 0.93), readers 1 and 3 (r = 0.94), and readers 2 and 3 (r = 0.91). Agreement for the contrast- enhancement patterns was 67%, 72%, and 67%, respectively, with most mucinous tumors having predominantly high SI and a peripheral contrast-enhancement pattern. CONCLUSION: Mucinous and nonmucinous rectal tumors can be differentiated with MR imaging because mucinous tumors show high SI on T2- weighted fast SE images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Magnetic resonance (MR), rapid imaging
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), tissue characterization
  • Rectum
  • Rectum, neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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