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Journal Article

Assessing extracranial tumors using diffusion-weighted whole-body MRI


Klarhöfer M, Scheffler,  K
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Lenz, C., Klarhöfer M, Scheffler, K., Winter, L., & Sommer, G. (2011). Assessing extracranial tumors using diffusion-weighted whole-body MRI. Zeitschrift für Medizinische Physik, 21(2), 79-90. doi:10.1016/j.zemedi.2010.06.004.

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Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) provides qualitative and quantitative information about the random motion of water molecules in biological tissues and is able to give functional insight into tissue architecture and pathological changes on a cellular level. This technique has the major advantages of not requiring the administration of contrast agents and not exposing the patient to ionizing radiation. Recent technological advances have led to the development of diffusion-weighted whole-body imaging with background body signal suppression (DWIBS) that allows screening of the whole body in 25 minutes. DWI and DWIBS have both revealed great potential in the field of oncology and proved to be useful for detecting and characterizing tumors and evaluating treatment response. This article reviews the basic principles and experimental setup of DWI and DWIBS and illustrates its potential application to the assessment of extracranial tumors. In addition, current limitations and challenges of this promising imaging procedure are discussed.