Turbo STIR magnetic resonance imaging as a whole-body screening tool for metastases in patients with breast carcinoma: preliminary clinical experience

R Walker, P Kessar, R Blanchard, M Dimasi, K Harper, V DeCarvalho, E K Yucel, L Patriquin, S Eustace
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging: JMRI 2000, 11 (4): 343-50
This study was undertaken to assess the utility of whole-body turbo short tau inversion recovery (STIR) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect metastases to liver, brain, and bone as a single examination in women with breast cancer. Seventeen patients with biopsy-proven breast cancer and suspected metastatic disease attending over a 12-month period referred for both conventional imaging and whole-body MRI were included in the study. Three patients were found to be free of metastases at both conventional and MR imaging. Appendicular or axial skeletal metastases were identified in 11 of 17 patients, with correlation between findings at whole-body MRI and scintigraphy in 15 of the 17 patients. Five patients had evidence of hepatic metastases on whole-body MRI, of which metastases were identified in only three patients at CT despite contrast enhancement. Four patients had brain abnormalities (metastases in three patients, meningioma in one patient) detected on both whole-body and dedicated brain MRI. Preliminary clinical experience suggests that turbo STIR whole-body MRI may represent a convenient and cost-effective method of total body screening for metastases in patients with breast carcinoma.

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