MRI of Skeletal Tumors



- Discussion:
     - useful in planning surgery & limb salvage procedures;
     - assists w/ preop planning for relationship of tumor to such adjacent normal structures as physes, joints, & N/V bundles;

- Soft Tissue Tumors:
    - specificity of MRI is poor;
    - for planning limb salvage prosthesis, distance from the proximal aspect of the lesion to joint space;
    - lesions w/ in fat are usually shown better in T1 images;
    - lesions within Muscle are better shown onT2-wt images;
    - look for an inhomogeneous signal on T1 images;

- Bone Tumors:
    - CT is also superior in detecting subtle soft-tissue calcification;
    - CT is superior for evaluating cortical changes & for flat bones w/ little marrow;
    - for planning limb salvage prosthesis, distance from the proximal aspect of the lesion to joint space;
    - shows intramedullary and extramedullary anatomy;

- Spinal Tumors:
    - useful for showing vertebral involvement by metastatic disease
    - normal fatty marrow is replaced by tumor which has a higher water content (and therefore T1 signal changes from high to low and T2 signal changes from low to high)



Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Thursday, August 30, 2012 3:50 pm