Comparison of MR and PET imaging for the evaluation of liver metastases




To compare the accuracy of fluoro-18-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and dynamic-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the diagnosis of liver metastatic lesions from colon and other sources.

Materials and Methods

Thirty consecutive patients with known or suspected metastatic lesions were scanned by both MRI and PET. Histopathology and/or clinical outcome, including cross-sectional imaging follow up, were used as a gold standard.


Of 30 patients, 16 were positive by pathology and/or clinical outcome and 14 were negative for liver metastases. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values on MRI were 85.7%, 100%, 100%, and 89%, respectively, compared to 71%, 93.7%, 90.9%, and 79% on FDG-PET. The difference between the two methods was not significant (X2 = 0.2, P > 0.05).


Our study showed no significant difference in detection of liver metastases using MRI or FDG-PET. However, MRI has advantages in spatial resolution and lesion characterization. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2003;17:343–349. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.