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Pancreatology. 2006;6(6):512-9. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Impact of FDG-PET/MRI image fusion on the detection of pancreatic cancer.

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Klinik fur Strahlenheilkunde, Charité Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, Germany.



This study assessed the value of image fusion with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients suspected of having pancreatic cancer.


32 patients (12 women, 20 men; age 24-79 years; mean 56.6 years) were included. All patients underwent whole-body FDG-PET examinations and contrast-enhanced MRI. Image fusion used a semiautomatic voxel-based algorithm. Separate reading, side-by-side analysis and evaluation of fused PET/MRI images were performed. Results were correlated to histopathology (n = 30), or clinical follow-up (n = 2).


15/32 patients had pancreas cancer and 17/32 patients benign disease. The sensitivity and specificity for cancer detection by FDG-PET were 93 and 41% for visual and 86 and 58% for semiquantitative analysis whereas MRI achieved 100 and 76% respectively. Topographical assignment of PET foci by image fusion was superior to side-by-side analysis in 11/39 (28%) foci (in 8/32 patients). However, a true impact on therapeutic strategy was observed only in 1/8 patients as the presence of multiple metastases, irresectable primaries or medical reasons for inoperability prevented a curative setting.


Compared to side-by-side analysis, PET/MRI image fusion improves the anatomical assignment and interpretation of FDG foci. The therapeutic benefit for the patient however is limited in patients with multiple lesions or incurable primaries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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