Value of a Dixon-based MR/PET attenuation correction sequence for the localization and evaluation of PET-positive lesions

  • Matthias EiberEmail author
  • Axel Martinez-Möller
  • Michael Souvatzoglou
  • Konstantin Holzapfel
  • Anja Pickhard
  • Dennys Löffelbein
  • Ivan Santi
  • Ernst J. Rummeny
  • Sibylle Ziegler
  • Markus Schwaiger
  • Stephan G. Nekolla
  • Ambros J. Beer
Original Articles



In this study, the potential contribution of Dixon-based MR imaging with a rapid low-resolution breath-hold sequence, which is a technique used for MR-based attenuation correction (AC) for MR/positron emission tomography (PET), was evaluated for anatomical correlation of PET-positive lesions on a 3T clinical scanner compared to low-dose CT. This technique is also used in a recently installed fully integrated whole-body MR/PET system.


Thirty-five patients routinely scheduled for oncological staging underwent 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT and a 2-point Dixon 3-D volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) T1-weighted MR sequence on the same day. Two PET data sets reconstructed using attenuation maps from low-dose CT (PETAC_CT) or simulated MR-based segmentation (PETAC_MR) were evaluated for focal PET-positive lesions. The certainty for the correlation with anatomical structures was judged in the low-dose CT and Dixon-based MRI on a 4-point scale (0–3). In addition, the standardized uptake values (SUVs) for PETAC_CT and PETAC_MR were compared.


Statistically, no significant difference could be found concerning anatomical localization for all 81 PET-positive lesions in low-dose CT compared to Dixon-based MR (mean 2.51 ± 0.85 and 2.37 ± 0.87, respectively; p = 0.1909). CT tended to be superior for small lymph nodes, bone metastases and pulmonary nodules, while Dixon-based MR proved advantageous for soft tissue pathologies like head/neck tumours and liver metastases. For the PETAC_CT- and PETAC_MR-based SUVs (mean 6.36 ± 4.47 and 6.31 ± 4.52, respectively) a nearly complete concordance with a highly significant correlation was found (r = 0.9975, p < 0.0001).


Dixon-based MR imaging for MR AC allows for anatomical allocation of PET-positive lesions similar to low-dose CT in conventional PET/CT. Thus, this approach appears to be useful for future MR/PET for body regions not fully covered by diagnostic MRI due to potential time constraints.


Attenuation correction Dixon-based VIBE T1-weighted MR sequence Localization Low-dose CT MR/PET 



We thank Brigitte Dzewas and Sylvia Schachoff and the whole PET team for their excellent technical assistance.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Eiber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Axel Martinez-Möller
    • 2
  • Michael Souvatzoglou
    • 2
  • Konstantin Holzapfel
    • 1
  • Anja Pickhard
    • 3
  • Dennys Löffelbein
    • 4
  • Ivan Santi
    • 5
  • Ernst J. Rummeny
    • 1
  • Sibylle Ziegler
    • 2
  • Markus Schwaiger
    • 2
  • Stephan G. Nekolla
    • 2
  • Ambros J. Beer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear MedicineTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Maxillofacial SurgeryTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  5. 5.Service of Nuclear Medicine, PET Center, Policlinico S.Orsola-MalpighiUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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