Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2008; 21(3): 167-177
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1080996
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Endorectal Ultrasound: Its Role in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Rectal Cancer

Bret R. Edelman1 , Martin R. Weiser1
  • 1Colorectal Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 July 2008 (online)


With development over the past 25 years of new surgical techniques and neoadjuvant therapy regimens for rectal cancer, physicians now have a range of treatment options that minimize morbidity and maximize the potential for cure. Accurate pretreatment staging is critical, ensuring adequate therapy and preventing overtreatment. Many options exist for staging primary rectal cancer. However, endorectal ultrasound (ERUS) remains the most attractive modality. It is an extension of the physical examination, and can be performed easily in the office. It is cost effective and is generally well tolerated by the patient, without need for general anesthesia. The authors discuss the data currently available on ERUS, including its accuracy and limitations, as well as the technical aspects of performing ERUS and interpreting the results. They also discuss new ultrasound technologies, which may improve rectal cancer staging in the future.


Martin R WeiserM.D. 

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

1275 York Ave., Rm. C-1075, New York, NY 10021