Multimodality functional imaging in radiation therapy planning: relationships between dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, diffusion-weighted MRI, and 18F-FDG PET

Comput Math Methods Med. 2015;2015:103843. doi: 10.1155/2015/103843. Epub 2015 Feb 19.


Objectives: Biologically guided radiotherapy needs an understanding of how different functional imaging techniques interact and link together. We analyse three functional imaging techniques that can be useful tools for achieving this objective.

Materials and methods: The three different imaging modalities from one selected patient are ADC maps, DCE-MRI, and 18F-FDG PET/CT, because they are widely used and give a great amount of complementary information. We show the relationship between these three datasets and evaluate them as markers for tumour response or hypoxia marker. Thus, vascularization measured using DCE-MRI parameters can determine tumour hypoxia, and ADC maps can be used for evaluating tumour response.

Results: ADC and DCE-MRI include information from 18F-FDG, as glucose metabolism is associated with hypoxia and tumour cell density, although 18F-FDG includes more information about the malignancy of the tumour. The main disadvantage of ADC maps is the distortion, and we used only low distorted regions, and extracellular volume calculated from DCE-MRI can be considered equivalent to ADC in well-vascularized areas.

Conclusion: A dataset for achieving the biologically guided radiotherapy must include a tumour density study and a hypoxia marker. This information can be achieved using only MRI data or only PET/CT studies or mixing both datasets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Area Under Curve
  • Contrast Media / chemistry*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Contrast Media
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18