Which imaging modalities are used in the initial diagnosis of Pancoast tumors?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019
  • Author: Melanie Guerrero, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is more accurate than computed tomography (CT) scanning and radiography in iidentification of the extent of tumor involvement and detection of invasion of adjacent organs (eg, vertebral bodies, brachial plexus, subclavian vessels). [10, 11, 12, 13] Histologic diagnosis is made in 95% of the cases by means of percutaneous transthoracic needle biopsy with fluoroscopic, ultrasonographic, or CT scan localization. [5, 14, 15]  Among other considerations, CT scanning or MRI of the brain is recommended in the initial evaluation, because distant metastases to the brain are not infrequent, and diagnosis of these metastases is necessary for staging. [16, 6, 7]


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