Purpose: To prospectively and directly compare the capability of whole-body diffusion-weighted (DW) imaging, whole-body magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with and that without DW imaging, and integrated fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) for M-stage assessment in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Materials and Methods: The institutional review board approved this study; informed consent was obtained from patients. A total of 203 NSCLC patients (109 men, 94 women; mean age, 72 years) prospectively underwent whole-body DW imaging, whole-body MR imaging, and FDG PET/CT. Final diagnosis of the M-stage in each patient was determined on the basis of results of all radiologic and follow-up examinations. Two chest radiologists and two nuclear medicine physicians independently assessed all examination results and used a five-point visual scoring system to evaluate the probability of metastases. Final diagnosis based on each of the methods was made by consensus of two readers. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to compare the capability for M-stage assessment among whole-body DW imaging, whole-body MR imaging with and that without DW imaging, and PET/CT on a perpatient basis. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were compared with the McNemar test. Results: Area under ROC curve (Az) values of whole-body MR imaging with DW imaging (Az = 0.87, P = .04) and integrated FDG PET/CT (Az = 0.89, P = .02) were significantly larger than that of whole-body DW imaging (Az = 0.79). Specificity and accuracy of whole-body MR imaging with (specificity, P = .02; accuracy, P < .01) and that without DW imaging (specificity, P = .02; accuracy, P = .01) and integrated FDG PET/CT (specificity, P < .01; accuracy, P < .01) were significantly higher than those of whole-body DW imaging. Conclusion: Whole-body MR imaging with DW imaging can be used for M-stage assessment in NSCLC patients with accuracy as good as that of PET/CT.
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