PURPOSE: To perform a survey among all members of the Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology (SIRM) to assess how whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) is performed in oncologic patients in Italy.
METHODS: On March 2019, we administered an online poll to all SIRM members about their use of WB-MRI in 2018 asking 15 questions regarding oncologic indications, imaging protocol, use of contrast media, experience in WB-MRI, duration of scan time and reporting time.
RESULTS: Forty-eight members participated to the survey. WB-MRIs/total MRIs ratio was 1%. Lymphoma was the most common indication (17/48, 35%), followed by myeloma and prostate cancer, with these three tumors representing the most common indication in 39/48 of cases (81%). WB-MRI acquisition time and reporting time were 46-60 min in 22/48 centers (46%) and 20-30 min in 19/48 (40%), respectively. WB-MRIs were mostly performed in 1.5T scanners (43/48, 90%), with surface coils (22/48, 46%) being preferred to Q-body (15/48, 31%) and integrated coils (11/48, 23%). Contrast media were injected in 22/48 of the centers (46%), mainly used for breast cancer (13/22, 59%). DWI was the most used sequence (45/48, 94%), mostly with b800 (27/48, 56%), b0 (24/48, 50%) and b1000 (20/48, 42%) values. In about half of cases, radiologists started evaluating WB-MRI non-contrast morphologic sequences, then checking DWI and post-contrast images.
CONCLUSION: WB-MRI was mainly performed at 1.5T unit, with lymphoma, myeloma and prostate cancer having been the most common indications. The extreme variability in the choice of imaging protocols and use of contrast agents demonstrates the need of a standardization of WB-MRI application in clinical practice.