FDG-PET/MRI in patients with pelvic recurrence of rectal cancer: first clinical experiences

A Correction to this article was published on 06 August 2018

This article has been updated



To determine the value of 18F-FDG-PET/MRI in the diagnosis and management of patients with pelvic recurrence of rectal cancer.


Forty-four patients (16 women, 28 men) with a history of rectal cancer who received FDG-PET/MRI between June 2011 and February 2017 at our institution were retrospectively enrolled. Three patients received two FDG-PET/MRIs; thus a total of 47 examinations were included. Pelvic recurrence was confirmed either with histology (n = 27) or imaging follow-up (n = 17) (> 4 months). Two readers (one radiologist, one nuclear medicine physician) interpreted the images in consensus. Pelvic lesions were assessed regarding FDG uptake and morphology. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values as well as accuracy of PET/MRI in detecting recurrence were determined.


In 47 FDG-PET/MRIs 30 suspicious pelvic lesions were identified, 29 of which were malignant. Two patients underwent resection and had histologically proven pelvic recurrence without showing suspicious findings on FDG-PET/MRI. Changes in management due to FDG-PET/MRI findings had been implemented in eight patients. Eighty per cent (16/20) of resected patients had histologically negative resection margins (R0), one patient had uncertain resection margins. Sensitivity of FDG-PET/MRI in detecting recurrence was 94%, specificity 94%, positive/negative predictive value and accuracy were 97%, 90% and 94%, respectively.


FDG-PET/MRI is a valuable tool in the diagnosis and staging of pelvic recurrence in patients with rectal cancer.

Key Points

• Metabolic information obtained from PET coupled with excellent soft tissue contrast from MRI could facilitate detection of rectal cancer recurrence and assist in treatment planning.

• PET/MRI demonstrates high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of local recurrence of rectal cancer

• PET/MRI led to alterations in management in 18.2% of patients.

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Change history

  • 06 August 2018

    The original version of this article, published on 6 July 2018, unfortunately contained a mistake.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Verena Plodeck.

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The scientific guarantor of this publication is Verena Plodeck.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional review board approval was obtained.

Study subjects or cohorts overlap

Some study subjects or cohorts have been previously reported at the RSNA 2017.


• retrospective

• diagnostic or prognostic study

• performed at one institution

Additional information

The original version of this article was revised: The name of Klaus Zöphel was presented incorrectly.

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Plodeck, V., Rahbari, N.N., Weitz, J. et al. FDG-PET/MRI in patients with pelvic recurrence of rectal cancer: first clinical experiences. Eur Radiol 29, 422–428 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-018-5589-6

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  • Positron-emission tomography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Rectal cancer
  • Neoplasm
  • Recurrence, local