Screening for brain metastases in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer: Is there additive value of magnetic resonance imaging above a contrast-enhanced computed tomography of the brain?

Lizza E. L. \ Hendriks*, Gerben P. Bootsma, Dirk K. M. de Ruysscher, Nicole A. M. Scheppers, Paul A. M. Hofmane, Boudewijn T. Brans, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Stage III NSCLC patients are candidates for treatment with curative intent. Current guidelines advise post contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or contrast enhanced computed tomography (CE-CT) of the brain in these patients to exclude brain metastases (BM). In previous small studies MRI was reported to be superior to CE-CT. However, a and MR technology have evolved and F-18-deoxyglucose-positron-emission-tomography ((18)FDG-PET) has been implemented in staging of NSCLC. If CE-CT, performed together with (18)FDG-PET-CT shows the same yield of BM detection as an additionally performed MRI, substantial gain in time and resources is expected. Methods: All NSCLC patients who underwent a staging (18)FDG-PET-CT between January 2008 and September 2011 were reviewed. Neurological asymptomatic patients with stage III NSCLC who were eligible for treatment with curative intent were selected, without taking into account the results of brain MRI. a was compared to MRI to investigate whether additional BM were detected on MRI. Development of BM within a year after negative MRI was recorded. Results: 97/429 NSCLC patients who underwent a PET-CT had stage III disease. Three otherwise stage III patients already had occult BM on CE-CT. 77/97 (79%) patients underwent MRI, 45/77 (58%) CE-CT and 32/77 (42%) LD-CT. In none of the CE-CF, but in 5/32 (16%) LD-CT patients BM were detected on MRI. 9/72 patients (13%) without BM on MRI at diagnosis developed BM within a year. Conclusions: This retrospective study suggests that there is no additive value of MRI to 18FDG-PET-CT with CE-CT in screening for BM in neurological asymptomatic patients with stage III NSCLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-297
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Non small cell lung cancer
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Computed tomography
  • Staging
  • (18)FDG-PET
  • Brain metastases

Cite this