MRI with ultrashort echo time advances lung screening

Monday, November 28 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSC03-04 | Room S404CD
In this Monday morning session, German researchers will extol the benefits of 3-tesla MRI with ultrashort echo time for creating high-resolution images comparable to those of CT for lung nodule characterization.

Ultrashort-echo-time MRI (UTE-MRI) achieved good diagnostic results in terms of nodule size and morphological assessment among 51 patients who also underwent CT scans. Two chest radiologists then evaluated a total of 119 nodules and masses ranging in size from 4 mm to 88 mm.

Only nine nodules (7%) were not seen on UTE-MRI, primarily due to very low CT attenuation. The sensitivity and specificity of UTE-MRI for identifying part-solid attenuation were 58% and 98%, respectively, but increased to 91% and 98%, respectively, for purely ground-glass opacification attenuation.

"Ultrashort-echo-time at 3 tesla delivers higher-resolution images closer to CT images with a precise morphological characterization of pulmonary nodules and tumors than current state-of-the-art chest MRI sequences," Dr. Mark Wielpütz, from the department of diagnostic and interventional radiology at the University of Heidelberg, told "This is consistent with previous studies using the UTE-type sequences describing the potential of detecting nodules and differentiating parenchymal lung diseases."

The researchers also recommended that ultrashort-echo-time MRI be included in comprehensive whole-body protocols for nodule detection and lung cancer staging.

"Imaging of the chest may prove useful as a novel modality for lung cancer screening and staging and pediatric oncology to reduce radiation burden in these populations due to repeated surveillance imaging," Wielpütz said.

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