PET/MR Imaging of the Female Pelvis

Semin Nucl Med. 2019 Nov;49(6):512-520. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2019.06.013. Epub 2019 Jul 16.


High-quality imaging diagnostics play a fundamental role in patient and therapy management of cancers of the female pelvis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) represent two important imaging modalities, which are frequently applied for primary tumor evaluation, therapy monitoring, and assessment of potential tumor relapse. Based on its high soft-tissue contrast, MRI has been shown superior toward CT for the determination of the local extent of primary tumors and for the differentiation between post-therapeutic changes and tumor relapse. Molecular imaging utilizing 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET facilitates an insight into tumor metabolism depending on the glycolytic activity of tumorous cells. As the current gold standard of hybrid imaging, 18F-FDG-PET/CT has been demonstrated highly accurate and superior to conventional imaging modalities for the detection of tumorous tissue due to the combined analysis of metabolic and morphologic data. Therefore, 18F-FDG-PET has emerged to become a well-established imaging modality for the detection, re-/staging and therapy response monitoring of a variety of solid tumors, including gynecologic cancers. Integrated PET/MRI systems have been successfully introduced into scientific and clinical applications within the past 8 years. This new-generation hybrid imaging technology enables the simultaneous acquisition of PET- and MR Datasets, providing complementary metabolic, functional, and morphologic information of tumorous tissue. Combining the high soft-tissue contrast of MRI and the metabolic information derived from PET, PET/MRI bears the potential to be utilized as an accurate and efficient diagnostic tool for primary tumor staging, therapy monitoring and restaging of tumors of the female pelvis and plays a valuable role in the management of targeted tumor therapies in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*