Whole body MRI with qualitative and quantitative analysis of DWI for assessment of bone marrow involvement in lymphoma

Annalisa Balbo-Mussetto, Chiara Saviolo, Alberto Fornari, Daniela Gottardi, Massimo Petracchini, Annalisa Macera, Chiara Valentina Lario, Teresa Gallo, Corrado Tarella, Stefano Cirillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Our study aimed to investigate the role of qualitative and quantitative whole body MRI with DWI for assessment of bone marrow involvement (BMI) in newly diagnosed lymphoma using FDG PET–CT and bone marrow biopsy (BMB) as reference standard. Materials and methods: We retrospectively evaluated 56 patients with newly diagnosed lymphoma (21 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 35 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) who underwent random unilateral BMB, FDG PET–CT and Wb-MRI-DWI for initial staging. In a patient-based analysis, results of Wb-MRI-DWI were compared with FDG PET–CT and BMB. For quantitative analysis, mean ADC values of posterior iliac crest were correlated with BMI and bone marrow cellularity. Results: WB-MR-DWI obtained excellent concordance with FDG PET–CT both in HL (k = 1.000; 95% CI 1.000–1.000) and in DLBCL (k = 1.000; 95% CI 1.000–1.000). In other NHL, WB-MRI-DWI obtained a good correlation with BMB (k = 0.611; 95% CI 0.295–0.927) while FDG PET–CT had poor concordance (k = 0.067; 95% CI 0.372–0.505). WB-MR-DWI has no false negative errors but 4 false positive results consisting in focal lesions consensually reported by FDG PET–CT and resolved after therapy. No significant correlation between ADC mean value and BMI was found (p = 0.0586). Conclusion: Our data suggest that Wb-MRI-DWI is a valid technique for BMI assessment in lymphoma patients, thanks to its excellent concordance with FDG PET–CT and good concordance with BMB (superior than FDG PET–CT). If further investigations will confirm our results on larger patient groups, it could become a useful tool in the clinical workup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-632
Number of pages10
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Bone marrow
  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Lymphoma
  • Whole body DWI
  • Whole body MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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