Tumor, lymph node, and metastasis (TNM) classification of lung cancer is typically performed with the TNM staging system, as recommended by the Union Internationale Contre le Cancer (UICC), the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). Radiologic examinations for TNM staging of lung cancer patients include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography with 2-[fluorine-18] fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG-PET), and FDG-PET combined with CT (FDG-PET/CT) and are used for pretherapeutic assessments. Recent technical advances in MR systems, application of fast and parallel imaging and/or introduction of new MR techniques, and utilization of contrast media have markedly improved the diagnostic utility of MRI in this setting. In addition, FDG-PET can be combined or fused with MRI (PET/MRI) for clinical practice. This review article will focus on these recent advances in MRI as well as on PET/MRI for lung cancer staging, in addition to a discussion of their potential and limitations for routine clinical practice in comparison with other modalities such as CT, FDGPET, and PET/CT.
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