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Volume 2014, Article ID 686790, 5 pages
Research Article

MRI-Based Assessment of Safe Margins in Tumor Surgery

1Computer Assisted and Robotic Surgery (CARS), Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique (IREC), Université catholique de Louvain Tour Pasteur +4, Avenue Mounier, 53, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
2Département D'imagerie Médicale, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc 10, Avenue Hippocrate, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
3Département de Pathologie, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc 10, Avenue Hippocrate, 1200 Brussels, Belgium

Received 17 November 2013; Accepted 19 January 2014; Published 20 February 2014

Academic Editor: Luca Sangiorgi

Copyright © 2014 Laura Bellanova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. In surgical oncology, histological analysis of excised tumor specimen is the conventional method to assess the safety of the resection margins. We tested the feasibility of using MRI to assess the resection margins of freshly explanted tumor specimens in rats. Materials and Methods. Fourteen specimen of sarcoma were resected in rats and analysed both with MRI and histologically. Slicing of the specimen was identical for the two methods and corresponding slices were paired. 498 margins were measured in length and classified using the UICC classification (R0, R1, and R2). Results. The mean difference between the 498 margins measured both with histology and MRI was 0.3 mm (SD 1.0 mm). The agreement interval of the two measurement methods was [−1.7 mm; 2.2 mm]. In terms of the UICC classification, a strict correlation was observed between MRI- and histology-based classifications ( , ). Discussion. This experimental study showed the feasibility to use MRI images of excised tumor specimen to assess the resection margins with the same degree of accuracy as the conventional histopathological analysis. When completed, MRI acquisition of resected tumors may alert the surgeon in case of inadequate margin and help advantageously the histopathological analysis.