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Oncology Imaging. Principal Imaging Modalities. Plain films (images) Ultrasound (US) Computed Tomography (CT) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Nuclear Medicine. Contrast media. Barium sulphate Organic iodine preparations Ultrasound contrast agents

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principal imaging modalities
Principal Imaging Modalities
  • Plain films (images)
  • Ultrasound (US)
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Nuclear Medicine
contrast media
Contrast media
  • Barium sulphate
  • Organic iodine preparations
  • Ultrasound contrast agents
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging contrast agents.

*Contrast media may have allergic reactions.

reactions related to iodinated contrast media
Reactions related to Iodinated contrast media
  • Minor reactions: nausea, vomiting, urticarial rash, headache.
  • Intermediate reactions: hypotension, bronchospasm
  • Major reactions: convulsions,

pulmonary oedema, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest.

radiation protection 1
Radiation Protection (1)
  • Although ionizing radiation is deemed to be potentially hazardous, the risks should be weighed in context of benefits to the patient.
radiation protection 2
Radiation Protection (2)
  • Clear requests with relevant clinical details.
  • Discussion of complex cases with radiologists.
radiation protection 3
Radiation Protection (3)
  • Ultrasound

}Lack of ionizing radiation

  • M R I
digital radiography
Digital Radiography

The principal advantages of digital

radiography are:

  • significant reduction in radiation exposure;
  • digital enhancement ensures all images are of an adequate quality;
  • transfer of images out of the radiology department to other sites;
digital radiography1
Digital Radiography
  • elimination of storage problems associated with conventional films:
  • no missing films;
  • rapid retrieval of previous images and reports for comparison;
  • ease of availability of examinations to clinicians.


  • Brain: Imaging the neonatal brain.
  • Thorax: Confirms pleural effusions and

pleural masses.

  • Abdomen: Visualizes liver, gallbladder,

pancreas, kidneys, etc.

  • Pelvis: Useful for monitoring pregnancy,

uterus and ovaries.

  • Peripheral: Assesses thyroid, testes and

soft-tissue lesions.



  • Relatively low cost of equipment.
  • Non-ionizing radiation and safe.
  • Scanning can be performed in any plane.
  • Can be repeated frequently, for example pregnancy follow up.


  • Detection of blood flow, cardiac and fetal movement.
  • Portable equipment can be taken to the

bedside for ill patients.

  • Aids biopsy and drainage procedures.


  • Operator dependent.
  • Inability of sound to cross an interface with either gas or bone causes unsatisfactory visualization of underlying structures.
  • Scattering of sound through fat produces poor images in obesity.
computed tomography
Computed Tomography


  • Any region of the body can be scanned; brain, neck, abdomen, pelvis and limbs.
  • Staging primary tumours such as colon and lung for secondary spread, to determine operability or a baseline for chemotherapy.
  • Radiotherapy planning.
  • Exact anatomical detail when ultrasound is not successful.
computed tomography1
Computed Tomography


  • Good contrast resolution.
  • Precise anatomical detail.
  • Rapid examination technique, so valuable for ill patients.
  • In contrast to ultrasound, diagnostic images are obtained in obese patients as fat separates the abdominal organs.
computed tomography2
Computed Tomography


  • High cost of equipment and scan.
  • Bone artefacts in brain scanning, especially the posterior fossa, degrade images.
  • Scanning mostly restricted to the transverse plane, although reconstructed images can be obtained in other planes.
  • High dose of ionizing radiation for each examination.
magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Central nervous system (CNS): technique of choice for brain and spinal imaging.
  • Musculoskeletal: accurate imaging of joints, tendons, ligaments and muscular abnormalities.
  • Cardiac: imaging with gating techniques related to the cardiac cycle enables the diagnosis of many cardiac conditions.
magnetic resonance imaging1
Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Thorax: assessment of vascular structures in the mediastinum.
  • Abdomen: abdominal organs are well visualized, surrounded by high signal from surrounding fat.
  • Pelvis: staging of prostate, bladder and pelvic neoplasms.
magnetic resonance imaging2
Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Can image in any plane-axial, sagittal or


  • Non-ionizing and hence believed to be safe

to use.

  • No bony artefacts due to lack of signal from


magnetic resonance imaging3
Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Excellent anatomical detail especially of soft


  • Visualizes blood vessels without contrast:

magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

  • Intravenous contrast utilized much less

frequently than CT.

magnetic resonance imaging4
Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • High operating costs.
  • Poor images of lung fields.
  • Inability to show calcification with accuracy.
magnetic resonance imaging5
Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Fresh blood in recent haemorrhage not as well visualized as by CT.
  • MRI more difficult to tolerate with examination times longer than CT.
  • Contraindicated in patients with pacemakers, metallic foreign bodies in the eye and arterial aneurysmal clips (may be forced out of position by the strong magnetic field).
modalities for respiratory tract investigations
Modalities for Respiratory Tract Investigations
  • Plain films (images)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Ultrasound (US)
  • Isotopes
  • Pulmonary angiography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
ct for respiratory tract
CT for Respiratory tract
  • Excellent detail for localizing and staging mediastinal masses and bronchial neoplasms.
  • Assesses hilar areas to identify lymphadenopathy, and to differentiate from prominent pulmonary arteries.
  • Visualizes accurately pleural masses, plaques and fluid associated with asbestos exposure.
us for respiratory tract
US for Respiratory tract
  • Presence of the pleural effusions and

loculated fluid.

  • Biopsy of pleural lesions.
mri for respiratory tract
MRI-for respiratory tract
  • Evaluation of mediastinal masses,

aortic dissection and staging bronchial carcinoma.

  • Evaluation of vascular invasion.
bronchial carcinoma
Bronchial carcinoma

A common primary tumour

Histological types:

squamous, small (oat) cell,

anaplastic, adenocarcinoma,

alveolar cell carcinoma.

bronchial carcinoma1
Bronchial carcinoma
  • Haemoptysis
  • Respiratory symptoms
bronchial carcinoma2
Bronchial carcinoma

Radiological features

  • Lobulated or spiculated mass but sometimes with a smooth outline.
  • Tumours at the lung apex (Pancoast's tumour) can invade the brachial plexus, resulting in shoulder and arm pain with wasting of the hand, or invasion of the sympathetic chain may give rise to Horner's syndrome.
bronchial carcinoma3
Bronchial carcinoma


-Assesses spread.

-Determines operability.

differential diagnosis of solitary lung mass
Differential diagnosis of solitary lung mass
  • Metastasis:

-Breast, kidney, colon,

testicular tumours.

  • Tuberculoma
  • Benign neoplasms

-Bronchial adenoma , hamartoma

round pneumonia, hydatid cyst,

haematoma , arteriovenous malformation.

bronchial carcinoma4
Bronchial carcinoma

Common sites of distant metastases

- Brain

- Bone

- Adrenals

- Liver

mediastinal mass
Mediastinal mass

Imaging modalities –

Plain film



mediastinal mass1
Mediastinal mass
  • Anterior mediastinal masses

- thyroid , thymus , teratodermoid

  • Middle mediastinal masses

- lymphoma, metastases,

sarcoid or tuberculosis.

  • Posterior mediastinal masses

- neurogenic tumours



gastrointestinal tract gi1
Gastrointestinal tract (GI)

Imaging modalities

-Plain films (images)

-Barium studies


-Computed tomography


-Magnetic resonance imaging

gastrointestinal tract gi2
Gastrointestinal tract (GI)


- to assess for operability by staging

oesophageal, gastric and colonic


- to evaluate adjacent infiltration

and secondary deposits.

esophageal carcinoma
Esophageal Carcinoma
  • Squamous cell type
  • Distal third

Male > Female

  • Predisposing factors

- Achalasia

- Barrett’s esophagus

esophageal carcinoma1
Esophageal Carcinoma

Imaging modalities

- Barium

- CT: tumour confinement to the

wall or extraluminal spread.

- US: secondary deposits

esophageal carcinoma2
Esophageal Carcinoma

Radiological features

  • Polypoidal type: an intraluminal mass protrudes out into the oesophageal lumen causing a filling defect in the barium column.
  • Infiltrative type: the tumour spreads under the oesophageal mucosa without extending into the lumen, causing narrowing. Later there is mucosal infiltration resulting in ulceration and an irregular outline to the oesophagus.
gastric carcinoma
Gastric Carcinoma

A general decrease in the

incidence of gastric carcinoma.

gastric carcinoma1
Gastric Carcinoma

Clinical Presentations:

Dyspepsia , anorexia, nausea, vomiting,

Body weight loss,

Haematemesis or melaena.

gastric carcinoma2
Gastric Carcinoma

Imaging modalities

- Barium meal

- CT

}preoperative evaluation

- US

gastric carcinoma3
Gastric Carcinoma

Radiological features

Barium meal

  • Polypoidal type - soft-tissue mass causing a

filling defect.

  • Ulcerating type - ulcerating within the

margin of the stomach.

gastric carcinoma4
Gastric Carcinoma
  • Diffuse infiltrating type - diffuse submucosal


( linitis plastica) small rigid stomach

( leather bottle stomach) { poor distensibility

  • Local infiltrating type - focal area of mucosal

irregularity and narrowing

at the site of the tumour.

colonic carcinoma
Colonic carcinoma
  • Commonest malignancy of GI tract.
  • Usually adenocarcinoma
colonic carcinoma1
Colonic carcinoma

Imaging modalities

- Plain films.

- Barium

- Ultrasound




colonic carcinoma2
Colonic carcinoma

Radiological features

  • Annular carcinoma - irregular luminal

narrowing ,

apple-core deformity.

  • Polypoidal mass - intraluminal filling


colonic carcinoma3
Colonic carcinoma
  • Complications

- Obstruction

- Perforation

- Fistula formation

colonic carcinoma4
Colonic carcinoma
  • Differential diagnosis of colonic narrowing

-Diverticular disease

- Crohn's disease

- Ulcerative colitis

colonic carcinoma5
Colonic carcinoma
  • Differential diagnosis of colonic narrowing

-Extrinsic: inflammatory/neoplastic


- Radiotherapy

- Tuberculosis.

- Ischaemia.

hepatocellular carcinoma1
Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Common tumour in Chinese.
  • Chronic hepatitis B carriers.
  • Fungal aflatoxin food contamination.
hepatocellular carcinoma2
Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Clinical Presentation

- upper abdominal pain

- weight loss

- fever

hepatocellular carcinoma3
Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Three principal types

- Multinodular

- Infiltrative

- Solitary mass

hepatocellular carcinoma4
Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Radiological features


precontrast : low/isodense mass

arterial phase : hypervascular mass

delayed phase : wash-out mass

hepatocellular carcinoma5
Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • The tumor should be assessed for invasion of the vascular system and the biliary system.
hepatocellular carcinoma6
Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • About 20% ( ? ) are suitable

for liver resection.

liver metastases
Liver Metastases
  • The liver is the most common organ of secondary deposits.
  • The primary sites are : colon, stomach, pancreas, breast and lung.
pancreatic carcinoma
Pancreatic carcinoma
  • The most frequent pathological

type arises from the pancreatic

duct epithelium (Adenocarcinoma).

pancreatic carcinoma1
Pancreatic carcinoma
  • Clinical Presentation

- Abdominal pain

- Weight loss, anorexia.

- Obstructive jaundice.

- Malabsorption, diarrhoea.

- Diabetes.

pancreatic carcinoma2
Pancreatic carcinoma
  • Clinical symptoms usually occur late and at the time of presentation there is often local invasion of blood vessels or bowel.
pancreatic carcinoma3
Pancreatic carcinoma
  • Radiological features


- focal pancreatic enlargement with

a hypoechoic/hypodense mass.

- pancreatic and bile duct dilatation

- distended gallbladder.

pancreatic carcinoma4
Pancreatic carcinoma
  • MRI –

Reduced signal from

pancreas on T l sequence.

the urinary tract1
The Urinary Tract
  • Imaging modalities


- Intravenous urography (IVU)

- Retrograde pyelography

- Antegrade pyelography

the urinary tract2
The Urinary Tract
  • Imaging modalities

- Percutaneous nephrostomy

- Micturating cystogram

- Urethrography

the urinary tract3
The Urinary Tract
  • Imaging modalities

- Ultrasound

- Computed Tomography

- Arteriography

renal carcinoma
Renal carcinoma

Radiological features

  • Plain film – Renal mass (calcifications)
  • IVP – Renal Mass, pelvicalyceal distortion

and irregularity

  • US – Solid mass with increase vascularity
  • CT/MRI – Useful for staging,

perinephric tissue invasion,

venous invasion,

lymph node metastasis

bladder carcinoma
Bladder carcinoma

Radiological features

  • IVP –Filling defect in the bladder

Irregular mucosa

  • CT/MRI – Useful for staging

Intramural /extramural

spread , local invasion ,

lymph node metastasis

testicular tumour
Testicular tumour

US – extremely effective in evaluation of well defined low echogenicity mass


MR imaging of clinical stage I and IIa cervical carcinoma: a reappraisal of efficacy and pitfalls

  • Parametrial invasion: 96.7%
  • Vaginal invasion: 87%
  • LAP: 87%
  • Staging accuracy

MRI: 83.8%, Clinical staging: 61.3%

  •  stage IIa vs.  stage IIB

MRI: 96.7%, Clinical staging: 80.6%

Europ Radiol 2001

skeletal system
Skeletal system

Imaging modalities

  • Plain films (images) – still remain the mainstay of investigation
  • Isotopes – Tc 99m phosphate compounds
  • US/CT/MR – for tumour vascularity, infiltration of surrounding tissure relationship to nerves and vessels

Plain films (images)

Radiological features

  • Irregular medullary destruction
  • Periosteal reaction
  • Cortical destruction
  • Soft tissure mass
  • New bone formation
bone metastases
Bone metastases

Plain films (images)

Radiological features

- Lytic deposits : poor definition of margins,

pathological fracture

- Sclerotic deposits :an area of ill-

defined increased


bone metastases1
Bone metastases

- Most frequent primary are






Adrenal gland

multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma

Radiological features

Plain films (images)

- Generalized osteoporosis

- Compression fracture of vertebral


- Scattered ‘pounch-out’ lytic lesions

with well-defined margins

- Bone expansion with soft-tissue masses

Choose the most appropriate

imaging modality is the key

for accurate effective

diagnosis and treatment.