Can Short Tau Inversion Recovery (STIR) Imaging Be Used as a Stand-Alone Sequence To Assess a Perianal Fistulous Tract on MRI? A Retrospective Cohort Study Comparing STIR and T1-Post Contrast Imaging

Armeen Ahmad, Sudeep Roplekar, Anna Podlasek (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Introduction: Perianal fistulas demand precise preoperative assessment for optimal surgical outcomes. MRI, using Short Tau Inversion Recovery (STIR) and T1-post contrast sequences, plays a crucial role in this evaluation.This retrospective cohort study compared STIR imaging's diagnostic efficacy with T1-post contrast sequences in identifying perianal fistulous tracts. The study investigated whether STIR imaging could serve as the sole diagnostic sequence, simplifying clinical practice.

Methods: In a tertiary care hospital, 100 patients underwent pelvic MRI for suspected perianal fistulas. Radiologists independently evaluated STIR and T1-post contrast sequences for internal openings, tract extent, distinction, abscess presence, and tract type. Sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve (AUC), and Cohen's kappa analysis were used for diagnostic assessment.

Results: STIR imaging showed notable sensitivity (79.8-97.9%) and specificity (100%) for identifying internal openings and tracts. Combined with T1-post contrast, diagnostic accuracy improved significantly, with near-perfect AUC values. Kappa values indicated moderate to substantial agreement between radiological assessments and clinical diagnosis. The combined sequences achieved 100% sensitivity and specificity for tract visualization.

Conclusion: STIR imaging presents promise as a singular diagnostic tool for perianal fistulas, especially when combined with T1-post contrast sequences. While offering potential clinical diagnosis simplifications, further studies are warranted to validate its utility and ensure comprehensive diagnostic accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere52448
Number of pages8
JournalCureus
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • colorectal
  • imaging
  • mri
  • stir
  • perianal fistula

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