Whole Body Diffusion-weighted MR Imaging of Children with Cancer: a solution to the challenge of Long-Term Side Effects from CT Scans

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.


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