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Magnetic Resonance Imaging for rectal carcinoma

Diagnostic Radiology

Highly specific diagnostics of malignant tumors of the rectum using magnetic resonance imaging Malignant tumors of the rectum develop from benign early stages called polyps. For the decision which therapy to apply for a malignant tumor of the rectum high-resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been established as the method of choice in all parts of the world.

Diagnostic local scan: Patient with rectal carcinoma

Diagnostic local scan: Patient with rectal carcinoma

The Department of Radiology is specialized in MRI of rectal carcinoma and has developed an examination concept which is unique in the world. Apart from accurate local staging it also allows for the simultaneous assessment of potential distant metastases in one and the same examination.

For this purpose, the table with the patient is continuously moved and in addition to the stationary pelvic MRI, images of the chest and abdomen are also generated within a few minutes.

This new technique is able to collect all the information on the severity of the disease essential for treatment during a single examination. This allows rapid discussion of the case in the weekly tumor conferences, which directly helps to initiate treatment faster.

What is important for you as the patient?

Before the examination, it is very important that you clean out your rectum by applying a small enema. For the examination itself, 150 ml of water will be injected into your rectum through a very thin, soft tube in order to reliably assess the extent of the tumour. In addition, you will be given a drug which suppresses intestinal peristalsis for a short time and a gadolinium-containing contrast medium via a small venous access.

You will be asked to avoid moving during the examination to ensure high image quality. Moreover, you will be requested to briefly hold your breath several times. The whole procedure takes 25 minutes.