Imaging

Ovarian Cancer

Preliminary Diagnosis: Ovarian Cancer

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

  • Ultrasound (US) of the pelvis with transabdominal and endovaginal imaging

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Advantages

  • Allows for evaluation of the ovaries, adnexa, and uterus

  • Quick examination that does not expose patient to ionizing radiation

  • Cost-effective

  • Useful in determining cystic and solid components of ovarian lesions as well as vascularity

  • If normal-appearing ovaries are seen, a diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be excluded

Disadvantages

  • Operator dependent. Relies heavily on the skill of the sonographer or physician performing the exam

  • Image quality can be degraded by patient body habitus and bowel gas content

  • Endovaginal ultrasound, while more sensitive, may be uncomfortable to some patients

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

  • No significant contraindications to ultrasound

  • Transvaginal ultrasound may be declined by a subset of patients

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

  • MRI with gadolinium IV contrast

  • Note that CT should not be used for evaluation of female pelvic structures but is often used in staging and surveillance of known ovarian cancer

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

MRI with gadolinium IV contrast

Advantages

  • Allows for high-resolution evaluation of the ovaries and pelvic structures, local lymph nodes, and pelvic cul-de-sac.

  • Does not use ionizing radiation.

  • In a known diagnosis of ovarian cancer, MRI reliably allows for assessment of local staging

Disadvantages

  • Expensive

  • Time consuming

  • Requires significant patient cooperation to minimize motion artifact

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

MRI with gadolinium IV contrast

  • Patients with embedded metallic devices not made of titanium such as cardiac pacers, stents, and other non–MR-approved metallic devices may not enter the magnet for imaging

  • Patients with GFR less than 30 cannot receive gadolinium intravenous contrast

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters