Colorectal cancer staging: comparison of whole-body PET/CT and PET/MR

Onofrio A. Catalano, Artur M. Coutinho, Dushyant V. Sahani, Mark G. Vangel, Michael S. Gee, Peter F. Hahn, Thomas Witzel, Andrea Soricelli, Marco Salvatore, Ciprian Catana, Umar Mahmood, Bruce R. Rosen, Debra Gervais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Correct staging is imperative for colorectal cancer (CRC) since it influences both prognosis and management. Several imaging methods are used for this purpose, with variable performance. Positron emission tomography–magnetic resonance (PET/MR) is an innovative imaging technique recently employed for clinical application. The present study was undertaken to compare the staging accuracy of whole-body positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET/CT) with whole-body PET/MR in patients with both newly diagnosed and treated colorectal cancer. Methods: Twenty-six patients, who underwent same day whole-body (WB) PET/CT and WB-PET/MR, were evaluated. PET/CT and PET/MR studies were interpreted by consensus by a radiologist and a nuclear medicine physician. Correlations with prior imaging and follow-up studies were used as the reference standard. Correct staging was compared between methods using McNemar’s Chi square test. Results: The two methods were in agreement and correct for 18/26 (69%) patients, and in agreement and incorrect for one patient (3.8%). PET/MR and PET/CT stages for the remaining 7/26 patients (27%) were discordant, with PET/MR staging being correct in all seven cases. PET/MR significantly outperformed PET/CT overall for accurate staging (P = 0.02). Conclusion: PET/MR outperformed PET/CT in CRC staging. PET/MR might allow accurate local and distant staging of CRC patients during both at the time of diagnosis and during follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 28 2016


  • Colorectal cancer
  • PET/CT
  • PET/MR
  • Staging
  • Whole-body staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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