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MRI techniques improve pulmonary embolism detection
Date:3/18/2012

te precession (true FISP)complement MRPA, according to Dr. Martin.

The addition of VIBE provides a gray scale that enables readers to distinguish between the clot, or thrombus, and the lung, which both appear dark on MRPA.

"Also, VIBE is not time sensitive," Dr. Martin said. "If the patient coughs, you can do it again. You don't have that option with MRPA."

The true FISP test does not require contrast agent or a breath hold, an important consideration for embolism patients who often cannot hold their breath long enough for image acquisition on MRPA.

When Dr. Martin and colleagues studied the three techniques on 22 patients with CTA diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, they found a sensitivity of 55 percent, 67 percent and 73 percent for MRPA, true FISP and VIBE, respectively. Combining all three MRI sequences improved the overall detection rate to 84 percent. Specificity was 100 percent for all detection methods except for MRPA, which demonstrated one false positive.

Dr. Martin hopes his findings stimulate discussion of a new, redesigned PIOPED study.

"PIOPED III did not answer the question of whether or not MRI is a useful alternative to CT, because it didn't use all the tools available," he said.

The MRI sequences used in the study are offered on all the major vendor systems, according to Dr. Martin, with the entire three-sequence protocol taking only 15 minutes to set up and perform.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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