Pathologic Implications of Magnetic Resonance Imaging-detected Extramural Venous Invasion of Rectal Cancer

Published:November 10, 2022DOI:



      Extramural venous invasion (EMVI) is a poor prognostic factor in rectal cancer. Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allow for the detection of EMVI before surgery. This study aimed to analyze the correlations between MRI-detected EMVI (MR-EMVI) and pathologic parameters in patients with rectal cancer.

      Materials and Methods

      This study retrospectively analyzed 721 patients who underwent radical resection for locally advanced rectal cancer between 2018 and 2019 at the Asan Medical center. All patients underwent an MRI before surgery. The lesions of patients who received neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy (CRT) were evaluated by MRI before and after the neoadjuvant CRT.


      Of the 721 patients, 118 (16.4%) showed a positive MR-EMVI, which significantly correlated with advanced pathologic T-category and N-category, extranodal extension, poor differentiation, lymphatic invasion, venous invasion, and perineural invasion. In addition, MR-EMVI was an independent factor for predicting the pathologic nodal status (OR 3.476, 95% CI, 2.186-5.527, P < .001). Patients with a positive MR-EMVI had a sensitivity of 28.0% and specificity of 91.9% for predicting regional lymph node metastasis, whereas the MR-N category had a sensitivity of 88.7% and specificity of 30.6%. Patients whose MR-EMVI changed from positive to negative after neoadjuvant CRT had no significant differences in pathologic parameters except for lymphatic invasion with patients who were negative before and after neoadjuvant CRT.


      MR-EMVI correlated with aggressive pathologic features, which indicated a poor prognosis. MR-EMVI may be a complementary imaging biomarker for predicting nodal status and evaluating tumor response to neoadjuvant CRT.


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