Whole-body MRI for metastases screening: a preliminary study using 3D VIBE sequences with automatic subtraction between noncontrast and contrast enhanced images

Vivien Thomson, Jean-Baptiste Pialat, Frédéric Gay, Agnès Coulon, Alain Voloch, Anne Granier, Jean-Claude Guérin, Magalie Viallon, Yves Berthezene
American Journal of Clinical Oncology 2008, 31 (3): 285-92

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate 3D Volumetric Interpolated Breath-hold Examination (VIBE) whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) acquisition for the metastases staging.

METHODS: Thirty-two consecutive patients with solid tumor were examined from head to feet before and after contrast injection. An automatic subtraction occurred between the 2 series of images. WB-MRI was compared with conventional staging techniques (CT, scintigraphy, brain MRI, and whole-body PET in 4 cases).

RESULTS: WB-MRI and the reference techniques depicted metastases in 25 patients. WB-MRI depicted more bone lesions in the spine, pelvis, skull, femur, and tibia, whereas scintigraphy detected more rib lesions. WB-MRI depicted 27 cerebral metastases, whereas brain MRI depicted 40 cerebral metastases. WB-MRI depicted a total of 8 hepatic metastases, 8 adrenal lesions, and conventional staging 7 hepatic metastases and 10 adrenal lesions. WB-MRI examination depicted lung metastases in 10 patients, and CT examination in 13 patients.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that WB-MRI is a feasible and promising technique for tumor staging.

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