By Dr Heike E. Daldrup-Link
It has been shown that the use of 18F FDG PET/CT is superior to conventional imaging modalities such as contrast-enhanced CT and MRI for the staging of most malignant lymphomas. Especially with pediatric patients, however, there is growing concern about the increased risk of secondary tumors developing later in life as a result of the radiation associated with PET/CT.
Whole body, diffusion-weighted MRI can image tumors but conventional WB-DW MRI has several disadvantages in pediatric patients, as well as the problem that the enhancement gained with standard MR contrast agents does not last for the duration of a whole body scan.
This article summarises our experience using iron supplement ferumoxytol as a contrast agent for improved tumor detection on DW MR scans and describes the potential of the approach in providing necessary pediatric staging with no CT-associated radiation risks.