What is the role of MRI in determining chest wall invasion of the primary tumor for lung cancer staging?

Updated: Jan 28, 2019
  • Author: Omar Lababede, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

MRI is more accurate than CT scanning in depicting chest wall invasion, especially in the superior sulcus region. However, the accuracy of both conventional CT and MRI in assessing chest wall invasion is relatively low. Emerging ultrasound, CT, and MRI dynamic techniques that assess the tumor movement in relation to the chest wall could be helpful in the confirmation of chest wall invasion but are not widely implemented. In a 2008 study, [21] ultrasound was more sensitive than CT in evaluating chest wall invasion, with sensitivity of 89% versus 42%. In another 2008 study about chest wall invasion detection by respiratory dynamic MRI, [22] the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 82.9%, respectively. The false-positive cases in these 2 studies were mostly secondary to benign adhesions between the visceral and parietal pleura.


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