Rectal cancer classification is important to determine the preoperative chemoradiation therapy and to select appropriate surgical technique. We reviewed the Western and Japanese rectal cancer classification and we propose our new classification based of Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We determine the relation of the tumor to fixed parameters in MRI, which are peritoneal reflection and levator ani muscle. Then, we classify the rectal cancer into four levels based on tumor distal margin and invasion to MRI parameters. We applied all three classifications to 60 retrospectively collected patients of different rectal cancer distance and we compared our classifications to the others. Based on each level we standardize our surgical approach. For stages-, We found that level where tumor distal margin is located above the peritoneal reflection and all of them were received low anterior resection (LAR) without chemoradiation. Level where tumor distal margin is located from the peritoneal reflection and above the levator ani insertion on the rectum. 90% of them were received LAR ± chemoradiation. Level where tumor distal margin is located at the level of levator ani insertion or invading any part of the levator ani. 60% of them had ULAR + coloanal anastomosis ± chemoradiation. Level II where the tumor distal margin is located below the levator ani insertion; 77% were received APR ± chemoradiation. The overall kappa for all levels between surgeons and radiologist was 0.93 (95%CI: 0.87-0.99), which is indicating almost perfect agreement. We concluded that the management of rectal tumors differed among each tumor level and our new MRI based classification might facilitate the prediction of surgical and chemoradiation management with better communication among a multidisciplinary team comparing to other classifications.
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