Special Issue "Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective"

A special issue of Diagnostics (ISSN 2075-4418). This special issue belongs to the section "Medical Imaging".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Alessandro Stecco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
UPO University Novara, Novara, Italy
Interests: magnetic resonance imaging; whole-body MRI; diffusion weighted imaging; lymphoma; myeloma; oncologic imaging, respons to therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

“Whole-Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective” is a Special Issue of the Section Medical Imaging of Diagnostics that will highlight the state of the art of this MRI technique that has become increasingly important in the last 15 years.

The combination of technical improvements in MRI hardware, technique of image acquisition, reconstruction algorithms and software as well as the introduction of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and other derived pulse sequences, in addition to conventional MRI pulses, also in for whole-body imaging, have promoted advancements with a direct rebound in the clinical setting.

The focus of this Special Issue will be on techniques and clinical applications of whole-body MRI, including DWI, for lymphoma, myeloma, oncologic staging, and metastases assessment, also in the post-treatment setting.

This Special issue will also emphasize future perspectives of this technique, with a look to emerging applications and methods.

Prof. Dr. Alessandro Stecco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diagnostics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Whole-body MRI
  • Diffuson weighted imaging
  • Oncologic imaging
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Lymphoma

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Contrast-Enhanced Black Blood MRI Sequence Is Superior to Conventional T1 Sequence in Automated Detection of Brain Metastases by Convolutional Neural Networks
Diagnostics 2021, 11(6), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11061016 - 01 Jun 2021
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Background: in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), automated detection of brain metastases with convolutional neural networks (CNN) represents an extraordinary challenge due to small lesions sometimes posing as brain vessels as well as other confounders. Literature reporting high false positive rates when using conventional [...] Read more.
Background: in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), automated detection of brain metastases with convolutional neural networks (CNN) represents an extraordinary challenge due to small lesions sometimes posing as brain vessels as well as other confounders. Literature reporting high false positive rates when using conventional contrast enhanced (CE) T1 sequences questions their usefulness in clinical routine. CE black blood (BB) sequences may overcome these limitations by suppressing contrast-enhanced structures, thus facilitating lesion detection. This study compared CNN performance in conventional CE T1 and BB sequences and tested for objective improvement of brain lesion detection. Methods: we included a subgroup of 127 consecutive patients, receiving both CE T1 and BB sequences, referred for MRI concerning metastatic spread to the brain. A pretrained CNN was retrained with a customized monolayer classifier using either T1 or BB scans of brain lesions. Results: CE T1 imaging-based training resulted in an internal validation accuracy of 85.5% vs. 92.3% in BB imaging (p < 0.01). In holdout validation analysis, T1 image-based prediction presented poor specificity and sensitivity with an AUC of 0.53 compared to 0.87 in BB-imaging-based prediction. Conclusions: detection of brain lesions with CNN, BB-MRI imaging represents a highly effective input type when compared to conventional CE T1-MRI imaging. Use of BB-MRI can overcome the current limitations for automated brain lesion detection and the objectively excellent performance of our CNN suggests routine usage of BB sequences for radiological analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective)
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Article
Value Attribution in the Decision to Use of Whole Body MRI for Early Cancer Diagnosis
Diagnostics 2021, 11(6), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11060972 - 28 May 2021
Viewed by 612
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the main factors that asymptomatic individuals considered when deciding to undergo self-referred Whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) for early cancer diagnosis and the subjective values attributed to each mentioned factor in a Decision tree analysis. Personal characteristics such as risk [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the main factors that asymptomatic individuals considered when deciding to undergo self-referred Whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) for early cancer diagnosis and the subjective values attributed to each mentioned factor in a Decision tree analysis. Personal characteristics such as risk perception and personality were investigated as possible factors affecting value attribution. Seventy-four volunteers (mean age 56.4; male = 47) filled a simplified decision tree by expressing the expected factors and related subjective values associated with two screening options for early cancer diagnosis (standard procedures vs. WB-MRI+standard procedures) while waiting for a WB-MRI examination. Questionnaires on risk perception and personality traits were also administered. Expected factors were summarized in 5 clusters: diagnostic certainty, psychological well-being, safety, test validity and time/cost. Test validity and time/cost were evaluated as potential losses in both procedures. Diagnostic Certainty and safety were evaluated as losses in standard screening, and as an advantage when considering WB-MRI+standard screening. Forty-five percent of participants considered WB-MRI+standard screening as beneficial for their psychological well-being. Finally, personal absolute and comparative risk to get cancer was associated with a positive value attribution to WB-MRI (p < 0.05). Our results showed the addition of WB-MRI to be generally considered a good option to increase individuals’ perceptions of diagnostic certainty and the safety of the exam, and to increase psychological well-being. The positive value of such a screening option increased with the individual’s cancer risk perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective)
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Article
Effects of Sex and Age on Fat Fraction, Diffusion-Weighted Image Signal Intensity and Apparent Diffusion Coefficient in the Bone Marrow of Asymptomatic Individuals: A Cross-Sectional Whole-Body MRI Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(5), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11050913 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 468
Abstract
We aimed to describe the relationships between the relative fat fraction (%FF), muscle-normalized diffusion-weighted (DW) image signal intensity and water apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), sex and age for normal bone marrow, in the normal population. Our retrospective cohort consisted of 100 asymptomatic individuals, [...] Read more.
We aimed to describe the relationships between the relative fat fraction (%FF), muscle-normalized diffusion-weighted (DW) image signal intensity and water apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), sex and age for normal bone marrow, in the normal population. Our retrospective cohort consisted of 100 asymptomatic individuals, equally divided by sex and 10-year age groups, who underwent whole-body MRI at 1.5 T for early cancer detection. Semi-automated segmentation of global bone marrow volume was performed using the DW images and the resulting segmentation masks were projected onto the ADC and %FF maps for extraction of parameter values. Differences in the parameter values between sexes at age ranges were assessed using the Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests. The Spearman correlation coefficient r was used to assess the relationship of each imaging parameter with age, and of %FF with ADC and normalized DW signal intensity values. The average %FF of normal bone marrow was 65.6 ± 7.2%, while nSIb50, nSIb900 and ADC were 1.7 ± 0.5, 3.2 ± 0.9 and 422 ± 67 μm2/s, respectively. The bone marrow %FF values increased with age in both sexes (r = 0.63 and r = 0.64, respectively, p < 0.001). Values of nSIb50 and nSIb900 were higher in younger women compared to men of the same age groups (p < 0.017), but this difference decreased with age. In our cohort of asymptomatic individuals, the values of bone marrow relative %FF, normalized DW image signal intensity and ADC indicate higher cellularity in premenopausal women, with increasing bone marrow fat with aging in both sexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective)
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Article
Whole Body Low Dose Computed Tomography (WBLDCT) Can Be Comparable to Whole-Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (WBMRI) in the Assessment of Multiple Myeloma
Diagnostics 2021, 11(5), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11050857 - 11 May 2021
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Abstract
Aim of the study is to compare the agreement between whole-body low-dose computed tomography (WBLDCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (WBMRI) in the evaluation of bone marrow involvement in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Patients with biopsy-proven MM, who underwent both WBLDCT and WBMRI [...] Read more.
Aim of the study is to compare the agreement between whole-body low-dose computed tomography (WBLDCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (WBMRI) in the evaluation of bone marrow involvement in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Patients with biopsy-proven MM, who underwent both WBLDCT and WBMRI were retrospectively enrolled. After identifying the presence of focal bone involvement (focal infiltration pattern), the whole skeleton was divided into five anatomic districts (skull, spine, sternum and ribs, pelvis, and limbs). Patients were grouped according to the number and location of the lytic lesions (<5, 5–20, and >20) and Durie and Salmon staging system. The agreement between CT and MRI regarding focal pattern, staging, lesion number, and distribution was assessed using the Cohen Kappa statistics. The majority of patients showed focal involvement. According to the distribution of the focal lesions and Durie Salmon staging, the agreement between CT and MRI was substantial or almost perfect (all κ > 0.60). The agreement increased proportionally with the number of lesions in the pelvis and spine (κ = 0.373 to κ = 0.564, and κ = 0.469–0.624), while for the skull the agreement proportionally decreased without reaching a statistically significant difference (p > 0.05). In conclusion, WBLDCT showed an almost perfect agreement in the evaluation of focal involvement, staging, lesion number, and distribution of bone involvement in comparison with WBMRI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective)
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Article
Semi-Automated Segmentation of Bone Metastases from Whole-Body MRI: Reproducibility of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Measurements
Diagnostics 2021, 11(3), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11030499 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Using semi-automated software simplifies quantitative analysis of the visible burden of disease on whole-body MRI diffusion-weighted images. To establish the intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measures, we retrospectively analyzed data from 20 patients with bone metastases from breast (BCa; [...] Read more.
Using semi-automated software simplifies quantitative analysis of the visible burden of disease on whole-body MRI diffusion-weighted images. To establish the intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measures, we retrospectively analyzed data from 20 patients with bone metastases from breast (BCa; n = 10; aged 62.3 ± 14.8) or prostate cancer (PCa; n = 10; aged 67.4 ± 9.0) who had undergone examinations at two timepoints, before and after hormone-therapy. Four independent observers processed all images twice, first segmenting the entire skeleton on diffusion-weighted images, and then isolating bone metastases via ADC histogram thresholding (ADC: 650–1400 µm2/s). Dice Similarity, Bland-Altman method, and Intraclass Correlation Coefficient were used to assess reproducibility. Inter-observer Dice similarity was moderate (0.71) for women with BCa and poor (0.40) for men with PCa. Nonetheless, the limits of agreement of the mean ADC were just ±6% for women with BCa and ±10% for men with PCa (mean ADCs: 941 and 999 µm2/s, respectively). Inter-observer Intraclass Correlation Coefficients of the ADC histogram parameters were consistently greater in women with BCa than in men with PCa. While scope remains for improving consistency of the volume segmented, the observer-dependent variability measured in this study was appropriate to distinguish the clinically meaningful changes of ADC observed in patients responding to therapy, as changes of at least 25% are of interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective)
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Article
Automatic Prediction and Assessment of Treatment Response in Patients with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Using a Whole-Body DW-MRI Based Approach
Diagnostics 2020, 10(9), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10090702 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
The lack of validation and standardization represents the main drawback for a clear role of whole-body diffusion weighted imaging (WB-DWI) for prediction and assessment of treatment response in Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL). We explored the reliability of an automatic approach based on the WB-DWI [...] Read more.
The lack of validation and standardization represents the main drawback for a clear role of whole-body diffusion weighted imaging (WB-DWI) for prediction and assessment of treatment response in Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL). We explored the reliability of an automatic approach based on the WB-DWI technique for prediction and assessment of response to treatment in patients with HL. The study included 20 HL patients, who had whole-body positron emission tomography (PET)/ magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) performed before, during and after chemotherapy. Using the syngo.via MR Total Tumor Load tool, we automatically extracted values of diffusion volume (DV) and its associated histogram features by WB-DWI images, and evaluated their utility in predicting and assessing interim and end-of-treatment (EOT) response. The Mann–Whitney test followed by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed between features and their inter-time point percentage differences for patients having a complete or partial treatment response, revealing that several WB-DWI associated features allowed for prediction of interim response and both prediction and assessment of EOT response. Our proposed method offers huge advantages in terms of saving time and work, enabling clinicians to draw conclusions relating to HL treatment response in a fully automatic way, and encloses, also, all DWI advantages compared to PET/ computed tomography (CT). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective)
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Review

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Review
Whole-Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Current Role in Patients with Lymphoma
Diagnostics 2021, 11(6), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11061007 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Imaging of lymphoma is based on the use of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) and/or contrast-enhanced CT, but concerns have been raised regarding radiation exposure related to imaging scans in patients with cancer, and its association with increased risk [...] Read more.
Imaging of lymphoma is based on the use of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) and/or contrast-enhanced CT, but concerns have been raised regarding radiation exposure related to imaging scans in patients with cancer, and its association with increased risk of secondary tumors in patients with lymphoma has been established. To date, lymphoproliferative disorders are among the most common indications to perform whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Whole-body MRI is superior to contrast-enhanced CT for staging the disease, also being less dependent on histology if compared to 18F-FDG-PET/CT. As well, it does not require exposure to ionizing radiation and could be used for the surveillance of lymphoma. The current role of whole-body MRI in the diagnostic workup in lymphoma is examined in the present review along with the diagnostic performance in staging, response assessment and surveillance of different lymphoma subtypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whole Body MRI: Major Advances and Future Perspective)
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