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Non-contrast MRI can accurately characterize adnexal masses: a retrospective study

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Panico, Camilla 
Ursprung, Stephan 
Simeon, Vittorio 
Chiodini, Paolo 


Abstract: Objective: To determine the accuracy of interpretation of a non-contrast MRI protocol in characterizing adnexal masses. Methods and materials: Two hundred ninety-one patients (350 adnexal masses) who underwent gynecological MRI at our institution between the 1st of January 2008 and the 31st of December 2018 were reviewed. A random subset (102 patients with 121 masses) was chosen to evaluate the reproducibility and repeatability of readers’ assessments. Readers evaluated non-contrast MRI scans retrospectively, assigned a 5-point score for the risk of malignancy and gave a specific diagnosis. The reference standard for the diagnosis was histopathology or at least one-year imaging follow-up. Diagnostic accuracy of the non-contrast MRI score was calculated. Inter- and intra-reader agreement was analyzed with Cohen’s kappa statistics. Results: There were 53/350 (15.1%) malignant lesions in the whole cohort and 20/121 (16.5%) malignant lesions in the random subset. Good agreement between readers was found for the non-contrast MRI score (к = 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.58–0.86) whilst the intra-reader agreement was excellent (к = 0.81, 95% CI 0.70–0.88). The non-contrast MRI score value of ≥ 4 was associated with malignancy with a sensitivity of 84.9%, a specificity of 95.9%, an accuracy of 94.2% and a positive likelihood ratio of 21 (area under the receiver operating curve 0.93, 95% CI 0.90–0.96). Conclusion: Adnexal mass characterization on MRI without the administration of contrast medium has a high accuracy and excellent inter- and intra-reader agreement. Our results suggest that non-contrast studies may offer a reasonable diagnostic alternative when the administration of intravenous contrast medium is not possible. Key Points: • A non-contrast pelvic MRI protocol may allow the characterization of adnexal masses with high accuracy. • The non-contrast MRI score may be used in clinical practice for differentiating benign from malignant adnexal lesions when the lack of intravenous contrast medium precludes analysis with the O–RADS MRI score.



Urogenital, Diagnosis, Magnetic resonance imaging, Ovarian cancer, Sensitivity and specificity

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European Radiology

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Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Mark Foundation For Cancer Research (C9685/A25177)