What is the role of MRI in the workup of secondary lung cancers?

Updated: Feb 08, 2019
  • Author: Daniel S Schwartz, MD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of pulmonary pathology offers little improvement over CT, with a few exceptions. MRI is often superior to other imaging modalities in the investigation of paravertebral tumors and superior sulcus tumors. In paravertebral tumors, imaging of the spinal canal without contrast media is possible. The use of routine MRI for all lung cancer is probably superfluous and not cost-efficient. MRI should be reserved for times when local tumor invasion of the mediastinum, thoracic inlet, or paravertebral region is questioned on CT. [12]


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