PURPOSE: To compare the diagnostic accuracy of PET/MRI and PET/CT for staging and re-staging advanced gynaecological cancer patients as well as identify the potential benefits of each method in such a population.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-six patients with suspicious or proven advanced gynaecological cancer (12 ovarian, seven cervical, one vulvar and four endometrial tumours, one uterine metastasis, and one primary peritoneal cancer) underwent whole-body imaging with a sequential trimodality PET/CT/MR system. Images were analysed regarding primary tumour detection and delineation, loco-regional lymph node staging, and abdominal/extra-abdominal distant metastasis detection (last only by PET/CT).
RESULTS: Eighteen (69.2 %) patients underwent PET/MRI for primary staging and eight patients (30.8 %) for re-staging their gynaecological malignancies. For primary tumour delineation, PET/MRI accuracy was statistically superior to PET/CT (p < 0.001). Among the different types of cancer, PET/MRI presented better tumour delineation mainly for cervical (6/7) and endometrial (2/3) cancers. PET/MRI for local evaluation as well as PET/CT for extra-abdominal metastases had therapeutic consequences in three and one patients, respectively. PET/CT detected 12 extra-abdominal distant metastases in 26 patients.
CONCLUSION: PET/MRI is superior to PET/CT for primary tumour delineation. No differences were found in detection of regional lymph node involvement and abdominal metastases detection.
KEY POINTS: • PET/MRI is superior to PET/CT for primary tumour delineation • PET/CT represents a reliable tool to detect extra-abdominal distant metastasis • PET/MRI might be the preferred imaging modality for staging cervical and endometrial tumours • Whole-body staging for detection and evaluation of extra-abdominal metastases is mandatory.