Current Colorectal Cancer Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 181–189 | Cite as

The Role of Contrast-Enhanced Imaging for Colorectal Cancer Management

  • Stefano Badia
  • Simona Picchia
  • Davide Bellini
  • Riccardo Ferrari
  • Damiano Caruso
  • Pasquale Paolantonio
  • Iacopo Carbone
  • Andrea Laghi
  • Marco RengoEmail author
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Innovations in Colorectal Cancer (S Gourtsoyianni, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Innovations in Colorectal Cancer


Purpose of Review

Imaging is fundamental in the management of colorectal cancer (CRC). Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (CEMR) are the imaging modalities recommended to stage and restage CRC. The aim of this review is to summarize the most relevant studies published on the role of contrast-enhanced imaging for the management of CRC.

Recent Findings

There are published data demonstrating the accuracy of CECT and CEMR for local staging of both colon and rectal cancer, as well as for the evaluation of distant metastases. Moreover, different aspects of these methods, in particular perfusion techniques, are emerging as prognostic biomarkers. The optimization of contrast media injection protocols is essential to ensure reproducibility and high image quality.


Contrast-enhanced imaging is mandatory in the management of CRC both for the evaluation of the primary tumor and of distant metastases.


Contrast-enhanced computed tomography Perfusion magnetic resonance imaging Colorectal cancer Cancer staging Biomarkers Multimodal imaging 



Colorectal cancer


Computed tomography


Magnetic resonance


Contrast-enhanced computed tomography


Computed tomography colonography


Computed tomography perfusion


Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance


Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance


Extramural venous invasion






Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Badia
    • 1
  • Simona Picchia
    • 1
  • Davide Bellini
    • 1
  • Riccardo Ferrari
    • 2
  • Damiano Caruso
    • 3
  • Pasquale Paolantonio
    • 4
  • Iacopo Carbone
    • 1
  • Andrea Laghi
    • 3
  • Marco Rengo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Diagnostic Imaging Unit, ICOT Hospital, Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies“Sapienza” University of RomeLatinaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Emergency RadiologyAz. Osp. San Camillo – ForlaniniRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Surgical and Medical Sciences and Translational Medicine, Radiology Unit – Sant’Andrea University Hospital“Sapienza” University of RomeRomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyAz. Ospedaliera San Giovanni HospitalRomeItaly

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