AIM: To evaluate the association between the image quality of cancer staging whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) and patient demographics, distress, and perceived scan burden.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample of patients recruited prospectively to multicentre trials comparing WB-MRI with standard scans for staging lung and colorectal cancer were invited to complete two questionnaires. The baseline questionnaire, administered at recruitment, collated data on demographics, distress and co-morbidity. The follow-up questionnaire, completed after staging investigations, measured perceived WB-MRI scan burden (scored 1 low to 7 high). WB-MRI anatomical coverage, and technical quality was graded by a radiographic technician and grading combined to categorise the scan as "optimal", "sub-optimal" or "degraded". A radiologist categorised 30 scans to test interobserver agreement. Data were analysed using the chi-square, Fisher's exact, t-tests, and multinomial regression.

RESULTS: One hundred and fourteen patients were included in the study (53 lung, 61 colorectal; average age 65.3 years, SD=11.8; 66 men [57.9%]). Overall, 45.6% (n=52), scans were classified as "optimal" quality, 39.5% (n=45) "sub-optimal", and 14.9% (n=17) as "degraded". In adjusted analyses, greater deprivation level and higher patient-reported scan burden were both associated with a higher likelihood of having a sub-optimal versus an optimal scan (odds ratio [OR]: 4.465, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.454 to 13.709, p=0.009; OR: 1.987, CI: 1.153 to 3.425, p=0.013, respectively). None of the variables predicted the likelihood of having a degraded scan.

CONCLUSIONS: Deprivation and patients' perceived experience of the WB-MRI are related to image quality. Tailored protocols and individualised patient management before and during WB-MRI may improve image quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Radiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Aged
  • Artifacts
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patients/psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Stress, Psychological/complications
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Whole Body Imaging/methods


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