Role of high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging for differentiating melanin-containing skin tumors

J. Maurer, Friedrich D Knollmann, D. Schlums, C. Garbe, T. J. Vogl, J. Bier, R. Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for differentiation of melanin-containing skin tumors. METHODS. Twenty-seven melanocytic nevi and 18 malignant melanomas were examined by high resolution MRI. Signal intensities and signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) of the tumors were determined in unenhanced (T1, T2, water-suppression, and fat-suppression sequences) and contrast-enhanced images (T1 and fat-suppression sequences). The differences were tested for significance by a Wilcoxon test. RESULTS. Malignant melanomas differed from melanocytic nevi in that they displayed a higher SNR in T2-weighted and unenhanced and contrast-enhanced fat- suppression scans. Malignant melanomas exhibited a higher CNR than did benign lesions in unenhanced and contrast-enhanced fat-suppression sequences with dermis as reference tissue (P < 0.05) and in enhanced fat-suppression sequences with subcutis as reference tissue (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS. The usefulness of SNR and CNR analysis on MRI for the differentiation of malignant skin tumors from benign skin tumors of the melanin-containing system is limited. Clinical and histologic examinations are, further, the important step in evaluation of melanin-containing skin tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-643
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • benign melanocytic nevus
  • contrast media
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • melanoma
  • skin
  • surface coil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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