Whole-body MRI attracts MSK imagers

May 1, 2007

Whole-body MR imaging could complement-and, in some cases, even replace-traditional bone scanning techniques. Researchers across Europe have found that whole-body MRI has a significant impact on patient management compared with x-ray and nuclear medicine.

Whole-body MR imaging could complement-and, in some cases, even replace-traditional bone scanning techniques. Researchers across Europe have found that whole-body MRI has a significant impact on patient management compared with x-ray and nuclear medicine.

Dr. Michela Zacchino and colleagues from the Institute of Radiology at the University of Pavia in Italy compared MRI with x-ray skeletal survey in 107 consecutive patients with multiple myeloma. They found that MRI revealed more extensive bone marrow involvement than did x-ray in 91% of patients with concordant positive findings, and it changed management in 24% of patients, leading to an overall cost reduction.

In another study also presented at the 2006 RSNA meeting, Dr. Joan Vilanova and colleagues from the Ressonancia Girona MRI Clinic compared the two approaches in 24 patients with metastatic bone disease. Whole-body diffusion-weighted MRI detected 96% of metastases from skeletal sites, while scintigraphy revealed only 52%. Not only was MRI significantly more sensitive, specific, and accurate, but it showed extraskeletal metastases in 42% of patients.

"The complete evaluation takes less than 40 minutes, can replace the need for bone scintigraphy in most cases, and complements PET studies," Vilanova said.