Fertility preservation is an integral component of clinical decision-making and treatment design. However, the selection criteria on imaging for patients eligible for fertility preservation is still unclear. The present review aimed to summarize the main findings reported in both the literature and international guidelines on the role of imaging in the selection of patients for fertility preservation. A search strategy was developed and applied to PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and EMBASE to identify previous citations reporting imaging and fertility preservation in patients with gynecological cancer. We also retrieved the published guidelines on the eligibility criteria for fertility-sparing treatment of gynecological neoplasms. A description of the internal multidisciplinary guidelines, clinically in use in our institution, is provided with representative clinical cases. The literature review revealed 1291 articles and 18 of these were selected for the analysis. Both ultrasound and MRI represented the primary imaging methods for selecting patients for fertility preservation in cervical and endometrial cancers. Eligibility criteria of fertility-sparing management in patients with cervical cancer were: tumor size <2 cm, tumor distance from the internal os >1 cm, and no parametrium invasion. For patients with endometrial cancer, these included no myometrial and cervical stroma invasion. Both ultrasound and MRI play a key role in characterizing adnexal masses. These modalities provide a useful tool in identifying small ovarian lesions, thus key in the surveillance of patients after fertility sparing surgery. However, efficacy in excluding disease beyond the ovary remains limited. This review provides an update of the literature and schematic outline for the counseling and management of patients with the desire for fertility preservation.
- ovarian cancer
- cervical cancer
- endometrial neoplasms
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Contributors All authors contributed in the creation of the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.