[Whole-body MRI and FDG-PET/CT imaging diagnostics in oncology]

G P Schmidt, A Haug, M F Reiser, C Rist
Der Radiologe 2010, 50 (4): 329-38
The advent of whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) has introduced a systemic approach to oncologic imaging compared to established sequential, multi-modal diagnostic algorithms. Hardware innovations, such as whole-body scanners at 1.5 Tesla and also recently 3 Tesla, combined with acquisition acceleration techniques, have made WB-MRI clinically feasible. With this method dedicated assessment of individual organs with various soft tissue contrast, high spatial resolution and contrast media dynamics can be combined with whole-body anatomic coverage.PET/CT has established itself as a powerful modality in the staging of patients suffering from malignant tumors. In addition to the morphologic information provided by the CT component of this hybrid modality, the PET component contributes invaluable metabolic information, which greatly enhances accuracy in the assessment of lymphatic spread and viability of tumor tissue. Whole-body MR diffusion imaging is a novel and promising technique which may contribute to superior sensitivity in the detection of tumor manifestations. In the assessment of distant metastatic spread WB-MRI is highly sensitive and has advantages over PET/CT, especially in those tumors frequently spreading to the liver, bone or brain. WB-MRI is also very attractive as a radiation-free alternative for imaging of pediatric tumor patients in whom multiple follow-up examinations may be required.WB-MRI allows for precise assessment of the bone marrow and has been proven to be highly accurate for the staging of hematologic diseases, such as multiple myeloma. In this article recent developments and applications of WB-MRI in oncologic imaging are addressed and compared to the results of PET/CT.

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