Fast dixon whole-body MRI for detecting distant cancer metastasis: A preliminary clinical study

Colleen M. Costelloe, Vikas Kundra, Jingfei Ma, Beth A. Chasen, Eric M. Rohren, Roland L. Bassett, John E. Madewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of fast Dixon whole-body (WB) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detecting bone and liver metastasis in clinical patients and to compare its performance with skeletal scintigraphy (SS) for detecting bone metastases using reference imaging with >1 year follow-up as the gold standard. Materials and Methods: Twenty-nine patients with bone metastases prospectively underwent WB MRI and SS. WB MRI included coronal T2, axial T1 with and without intravenous gadolinium (including triphasic liver sequences), and axial diffusion-weighted imaging, plus spinal sagittal postcontrast T1-weighted images. The skeleton was divided into 16 segments. Reviewers blinded to other images identified up to five lesions per segment and rated them using a five-point confidence scale for metastatic disease. Sensitivities and specificities were compared using the McNemar test. Results: The sensitivity of WB MRI and SS in detecting bone metastases was 70.8% and 59.6% (P = 0.003), respectively; specificity was 89.1% and 98.7% (P < 0.0001). WB MRI detected all livers with metastases (n = 8). One focal nodular hyperplasia was classified as a metastasis on WB MRI. Conclusion: Fast Dixon WB MRI is feasible in clinical patients, highly specific, and more sensitive than SS in detecting bone metastases, and can detect metastases of the liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Dixon
  • bone
  • breast cancer
  • liver
  • metastasis
  • whole body MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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