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Whole-Body MRI Virtual Autopsy Using Diffusion-weighted Imaging With Background Suppression (DWIBS) at 3 T in a Child Succumbing to Chordoma

Andronikou, Savvas MBBCh, FCRad, FRCR, PhD; Kemp, Marnie L. MBChB, FCRad (Diag) (SA), MMed (Rad) (D); Meiring, Michelle MBChB, FCPaeds (SA), MMed (Paeds) (Wits)

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: March 2017 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 133–136
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000759
Radiology Corner

Background: We report the use of diffusion-weighted imaging with background suppression (DWIBS) in pediatric virtual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) autopsy of a child who succumbed to chordoma.

Case Description: A 10-year-old girl who succumbed to relapse of a chordoma underwent whole-body virtual MRI autopsy 12 hours postmortem with short Tau inversion recovery (STIR) and DWIBS on 3 T, which demonstrated the primary mass, local and cardiac invasion, and metastatic disease to the thorax, abdomen, head/neck, and musculoskeletal system.

Conclusions: Postmortem virtual MRI autopsy including DWIBS successfully demonstrated the transthoracic spread of chordoma and invasion of the heart, resulting in blood-borne metastases. Motion and respiratory artifact were not factors during virtual autopsy using DWIBS on 3 T, making ideal use of this technology.

*Department of Paediatric Radiology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, The University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Red Cross Children’s Hospital, The University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Savvas Andronikou, MBBCh, FCRad, FRCR, PhD, Department of Paediatric Radiology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, The University of Bristol, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol BS2 8BJ, UK (e-mail:

Received August 10, 2016

Accepted December 5, 2016

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