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Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the accuracy in staging of various malignant tumors with whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) using parallel imaging (PAT) and positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT).

Materials and Methods: In a prospective study, 41 patients withoncologic diseases underwent [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose PET-CT for tumor staging and WB-MRI on a 32-channel-scanner with the use of PAT. Coronal T1w and STIR sequences at 5 body levels, axial HASTE imaging of the lung, and contrast-enhanced T1w sequences of the liver, brain, and abdomen were performed. TNM stage was assessed for both modalities in a separate consensus reading using histologic results and radiologic follow up within 6 months as the standard of reference.

Results: Three primary and 4 recurrent tumors were detected; one recurrent tumor was missed with WB-MRI. Sixty benign and 60 malignant lymph nodes were detected with a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 83% for PET-CT and 80%/75% for WB-MRI, respectively. One hundred ninety-one malignant and 77 benign distant lesions were detected with a sensitivity/specificity of 82% for PET-CT and 96%/82% for WB-MRI. Accuracy for correct TNM staging was 96% for PET-CT and 91% for WB-MRI.

Conclusion: WB-MRI and PET-CT are reliable imaging modalities for tumor staging. WB-MRI is highly sensitive in detecting distant metastases; PET-CT is superior in lymph node staging. PAT makes high-resolution WB-MRI feasible within less than 1 hour.

(C) 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.