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Letters
March 17, 2004

Whole-Body Imaging for Cancer Staging

Author Affiliations
 

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(11):1320. doi:10.1001/jama.291.11.1320-b

To the Editor: Dr Antoch and colleagues1 reported that combined whole-body positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) had greater diagnostic accuracy for cancer staging than did whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). I believe, however, that the authors' use of the term whole body is misleading, as their axial scanning range for both PET/CT and MRI did not appear to examine the brain, skull, or lower extremities. Lung cancer, for instance, commonly metastasizes to the brain. Furthermore, contrast-enhanced MRI has been reported to have higher sensitivity and specificity for brain metastases than PET.2 Although true whole-body PET requires additional time for image acquisition, it may provide a more accurate staging.

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