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Pediatr Radiol. 2018 Aug;48(9):1348-1363. doi: 10.1007/s00247-018-4141-9. Epub 2018 Aug 4.

Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging: techniques and non-oncologic indications.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave., Toronto, ON,, M5G 1X8, Canada.
Department of Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Whole-body MRI is increasingly utilized for assessing oncologic and non-oncologic diseases in infants, children and adolescents. Focusing on the non-oncologic indications, this review covers technical elements required to perform whole-body MRI, the advantages and limitations of the technique, and protocol modifications tailored to specific indications. Rheumatologic diseases account for the majority of non-oncologic whole-body MRI performed in pediatric patients at the author's institution. Whole-body MRI helps in establishing the diagnosis, documenting disease extent and severity, and monitoring treatment response in enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA) and chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO). Other non-oncologic indications for whole-body MRI include osteomyelitis (usually pyogenic), pyrexia of unknown origin, neuromuscular disorders, inherited and inflammatory myopathies such as juvenile dermatomyositis and polymyositis, avascular necrosis, and fat/storage disorders. Use of whole-body MRI in postmortem imaging is rising, while whole-body MRI in non-accidental injury is considered to be of limited value. Imaging findings for a range of these indications are reviewed with whole-body MRI examples.


Children; Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis; Enthesitis-related arthritis; Myopathy; Osteomyelitis; Postmortem; Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging

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