Primary Cystic Lesions of the Retrorectal Space: MRI Evaluation and Clinical Assessment.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2017 Oct;209(4):790-796. doi: 10.2214/AJR.16.17329. Epub 2017 Jul 13. Dwarkasing RS1, Verschuuren SI1, van Leenders GJLH2, Braun LMM1, Krestin GP1, Schouten WR3.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the a priori chance that primary cystic lesions of the retrorectal space are malignant and to investigate MRI characteristics that indicate malignancy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients referred to a center for colorectal surgery were recruited from 2000 to 2014. Lesions were proven by clinical assessment and histopathology. MRI was performed at 1.5 T with examinations evaluated by two radiologists. Interobserver agreement was assessed (Cohen kappa) and differences between malignant and benign lesions calculated (Fisher exact test).
RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients (22 women, six men; age range, 18-70 years) with 31 lesions were included. Lesions were categorized as tailgut cysts (n = 16, 52%), teratomas (n = 9, 29%), lesions of colorectal origin (n = 4, 13%), or neurogenic lesions (n = 2, 6%). Five patients (18%) had malignant lesions. Colorectal lesions had the highest percentage of malignancy (3/4, 75%). A solid tissue component was found in all five (100%) malignant lesions and two (8%) of the benign lesions, which were both teratomas (p < 0.05). Sensitivity and specificity for malignancy according to the presence of a solid tissue component was 100% (5/5) and 92% (24/26). For unilocularity, multilocularity, debris, septa, and wall thickening, differences were not significant. Interobserver agreement was excellent (κ = 1) for all characteristics except debris (κ = 0.795).
CONCLUSION: The majority of retrorectal cystic lesions are benign. The presence of a solid tissue component should raise suspicion for malignancy.