Radiology of colorectal cancer

M. E.J. Pijl, A. S. Chaoui, R. L. Wahl, J. A. Van Oostayen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In the past 20 years, the radiology of colorectal cancer has evolved from the barium enema to advanced imaging modalities like phased array magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), virtual colonoscopy and positron emission tomography (PET). Nowadays, primary rectal cancers are preferably imaged with transrectal ultrasound or MRI, while barium enema is still the most often used technique for imaging of colonic cancers. Virtual colonoscopy is rapidly evolving and might considerably change the imaging of colorectal cancer in the near future. The use of virtual colonoscopy for screening purposes and imaging of the colon in occlusive cancer or incomplete colonoscopies is currently under evaluation. The main role of PET is in detecting tumour recurrences, both locally and distantly. Techniques to fuse cross-sectional anatomical (computer tomography (CT) and MRI) and functional (PET) images are being developed. Apart from diagnostic imaging, the radiologists has added image-guided minimally invasive treatments of colorectal liver metastases to their arsenal. The radio-frequency ablation technique is now widely available, and can be used during laparotomy or percutaneously in selected cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-898
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002


  • Colorectal
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Radiology
  • Review


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