Diagnostic accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of pulmonary infections in immunocompromised patients
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Submission date: 2019-11-28
Acceptance date: 2020-01-17
Publication date: 2020-01-29
Pol J Radiol, 2020; 85: 53-61
To evaluate the accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosing pulmonary infections in immunocompromised adults.

Material and methods:
Computed tomography (CT) and MRI chest were performed in 35 immuno-compromised patients suspected of pulmonary infection. The MRI sequences that were performed included axial and coronal T2 half-Fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE), spectrally attenuated inversion recovery (SPAIR), true fast imaging with steady-state free precession (TRUFI), and three-dimensional fast low angle shot (3D FLASH) using breath-hold and respiratory triggered BLADE (proprietary name for periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction). The presence of nodules, consolidations, and ground-glass opacities was evaluated. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were calculated for MRI using CT scan as a reference standard.

The sensitivity of MRI in nodule detection was 50% overall and 75% for nodules measuring more than 5 mm. Consolidation was detected with 100% sensitivity. Sensitivity and PPV for the detection of ground-glass opacities (GGOs) were 77.7% and 53.8%, respectively. T2 HASTE axial had the fewest image artefacts. Respiratory triggered MR pulse sequence did not add any significant diagnostic information as compared to the non-respiratory triggered MR pulse sequences.

Sensitivity for detecting small nodules and GGOs on MR is poor; CT scan remains the imaging modality of choice for the evaluation of pulmonary infections in immunocompromised patients. However, MRI can be used in the follow-up imaging of these patients.

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