Comparison between CT volume measurement and histopathological assessment of response to neoadjuvant therapy in rectal cancer

Fabio Pomerri, Salvatore Pucciarelli, Gisella Gennaro, Isacco Maretto, Donato Nitti, Pier Carlo Muzzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare volume measurements on computed tomography (CT) images with histopathological assessments of chemoradiotherapy (CRT)-induced tumor regression in locally advanced rectal cancer (RC). Methods: In 25 patients (13 males, 12 females; median age, 63 years; age range, 44-79 years) with locally advanced RC treated with preoperative CRT and surgery, two radiologists measured tumor volume on CT images before and after CRT. CT-based tumor volumetry and the modified response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (mRECISTs) were compared with T and N downstaging after CRT, and with the tumor regression grade (TRG). Results: Tumor volumes were significantly smaller on CT images after CRT. The tumors regressed in 52% (13/25), 36% (9/25) and 40% (10/25) of patients, based on T downstaging, TRG and mRECIST findings, respectively. In terms of T downstaging, the pre- and post-CRT tumor volumes of responders and non-responders to the treatment differed statistically, while their tumor volume reduction rates and volume reductions according to the 65% mRECIST threshold did not. In terms of N downstaging and TRG, the differences between the responders' and the non-responders' pre- and post-CRT tumor volumes, tumor volume reduction rates, and mRECIST thresholds were never statistically significant. Conclusion: Measuring tumor size on CT images is of limited value in predicting the histopathological response to preoperative CRT in RC patients, so it may be unwise to select surgical treatment strategies based on CT volumetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3918-3924
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Computed tomography
  • Observer performance
  • Rectal cancer
  • Response evaluation
  • Volumetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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