European Radiology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 889–901 | Cite as

Whole-body MRI with diffusion-weighted sequence for staging of patients with suspected ovarian cancer: a clinical feasibility study in comparison to CT and FDG-PET/CT

  • Katrijn Michielsen
  • Ignace Vergote
  • Katya Op de beeck
  • Frederic Amant
  • Karin Leunen
  • Philippe Moerman
  • Christophe Deroose
  • Geert Souverijns
  • Steven Dymarkowski
  • Frederik De Keyzer
  • Vincent VandecaveyeEmail author



To evaluate whole-body MRI with diffusion-weighted sequence (WB-DWI/MRI) for staging and assessing operability compared with CT and FDG-PET/CT in patients with suspected ovarian cancer.


Thirty-two patients underwent 3-T WB-DWI/MRI, 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) and CT before diagnostic open laparoscopy (DOL). Imaging findings for tumour characterisation, peritoneal and retroperitoneal staging were correlated with histopathology after DOL and/or open surgery. For distant metastases, FDG-PET/CT or image-guided biopsies were the reference standards. For tumour characterisation and peritoneal staging, WB-DWI/MRI was compared with CT and FDG-PET/CT. Interobserver agreement for WB-DWI/MRI was determined.


WB-DWI/MRI showed 94 % accuracy for primary tumour characterisation compared with 88 % for CT and 94 % for FDG-PET/CT. WB-DWI/MRI showed higher accuracy of 91 % for peritoneal staging compared with CT (75 %) and FDG-PET/CT (71 %). WB-DWI/MRI and FDG-PET/CT showed higher accuracy of 87 % for detecting retroperitoneal lymphadenopathies compared with CT (71 %). WB-DWI/MRI showed excellent correlation with FDG-PET/CT (κ = 1.00) for detecting distant metastases compared with CT (κ = 0.34). Interobserver agreement was moderate to almost perfect (κ = 0.58–0.91).


WB-DWI/MRI shows high accuracy for characterising primary tumours, peritoneal and distant staging compared with CT and FDG-PET/CT and may be valuable for assessing operability in ovarian cancer patients.

Key Points

Whole-body MRI with diffusion weighting (WB-DWI/MRI) helps to assess the operability of suspected ovarian cancer.

Interobserver agreement is good for primary tumour characterisation, peritoneal and distant staging.

WB-DWI/MRI improves mesenteric/serosal metastatic spread assessment compared with CT and FDG-PET/CT.

Retroperitoneal/cervical-thoracic nodal staging using qualitative DWI criteria was reasonably accurate.

WB-DWI/MRI and FDG-PET/CT showed the highest diagnostic impact for detecting thoracic metastases.


Diffusion-weighted MRI Whole-body imaging Ovarian cancer Tumour staging Gynaecologic surgical procedures 

Abbreviations and acronyms


whole-body MRI with diffusion-weighted sequence


diagnostic open laparoscopy


peritoneal carcinomatosis


International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics


neoadjuvant chemotherapy


cancer antigen


multiplanar reformatting


turbo spin-echo


signal intensity


positive predictive value


negative predictive value



This research was supported by the Belgian Foundation against Cancer (Stichting Tegen Kanker – Fondation Contre le Cancer).

Supplementary material

330_2013_3083_MOESM1_ESM.docx (37 kb)
Supplementary Table Comparative per-site accuracy for WB-DWI/MRI, CT and FDG-PET/CT (DOCX 36.8 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrijn Michielsen
    • 1
  • Ignace Vergote
    • 2
  • Katya Op de beeck
    • 1
  • Frederic Amant
    • 2
  • Karin Leunen
    • 2
  • Philippe Moerman
    • 3
  • Christophe Deroose
    • 4
  • Geert Souverijns
    • 5
  • Steven Dymarkowski
    • 1
  • Frederik De Keyzer
    • 1
  • Vincent Vandecaveye
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Medical Imaging Research CentreUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Leuven Cancer InstituteUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Morphology and Molecular PathologyUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Imaging Research CentreUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyJessa Ziekenhuis – Campus Virga JessaHasseltBelgium

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