MRI Identification of the Osseous Extent of Pediatric Bone Sarcomas

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BackgroundThe quantitative accuracy of MRI in predicting the intraosseous extent of primary sarcoma of bone has not been definitively confirmed, although MRI is widely accepted as an accurate tool to plan limb salvage resections. Because inaccuracies in MRI determination of tumor extent could affect the ability of a tumor surgeon to achieve negative margins and avoid local recurrence, we thought it important to assess the accuracy of MR-determined tumor extent to the actual extent observed pathologically from resected specimens in pediatric patients treated for primary sarcomas of bone.Questions/purposes(1) Does the quantitative pathologic bony margin correlate with that measured on preoperative MRI? (2) Are T1- or T2-weighted MRIs most accurate in determining a margin? (3) Is there a difference in predicting tumor extent between MRI obtained before or after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and which is most accurate?MethodsWe retrospectively studied a population of 211 potentially eligible patients who were treated with limb salvage surgery between August 1999 and July 2015 by a single surgeon at a single institution for primary sarcoma of bone. Of 131 patients (62%) with disease involving the femur or tibia, 107 (51%) were classified with Ewing’s sarcoma or osteosarcoma. Records were available for review in our online database for 79 eligible patients (37%). Twenty-six patients (12%) were excluded because of insufficient or unavailable clinical or pathology data and 17 patients (8%) were excluded as a result of inadequate or incomplete MR imaging, leaving 55 eligible participants (26%) in the final cohort. The length of the resected specimen was superimposed on preresection MRI sequences to compare the margin measured by MRI with the margin measured by histopathology. Arithmetic mean differences and Pearson r correlations were used to assess quantitative accuracy (size of the margin).ResultsAll MR imaging types were positively associated with final histopathologic margin. T1-weighted MRI after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and final histopathologic margin had the strongest positive correlation of all MR imaging and time point comparisons (r = 0.846, p < 0.001). Mean differences existed between the normal marrow margin on T1-weighted MRI before neoadjuvant chemotherapy (t = 8.363; mean, 18.883 mm; 95% confidence interval [CI], 14.327-23.441; p < 0.001), T2-weighted MRI before neoadjuvant chemotherapy (t = 8.194; mean, 17.204 mm; 95% CI, 12.970-21.439; p < 0.001), T1-weighted after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (t = 10.808; mean, 22.178 mm; 95% CI, 18.042-26.313; p < 0.001), T2-weighted after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (t = 10.702; mean, 20.778 mm; 95% CI, 16.865-24.691; p < 0.001), and the final histopathologic margin. T1-weighted MRI after neoadjuvant chemotherapy compared with the final histopathologic margin had the smallest mean difference in MRI-measured versus histopathologic margin size (mean, 5.9 mm; SD = 4.5 mm).ConclusionsT1 MRI after neoadjuvant chemotherapy exhibited the strongest positive correlation and smallest mean difference compared with histopathologic margin. When planning surgical resections based on MRI obtained after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, for safety, one should account for a potential difference between the apparent margin of a tumor on an MRI and the actual pathologic margin of that tumor of up to 1 cm.Level of EvidenceLevel III, diagnostic study.

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