Article

Magnetic resonance and computed tomography evaluation of tracheobronchial lesions prior to laser photoresection1

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Abstract

Magnetic resonance (MR) and computed tomography (CT) images prior to endoscopic laser photoresection for obstructing lesions of the airways were compared in 24 patients. In 33% of the cases, MR was considered superior to CT in defining the relationship of the vessels to the tracheobronchial tree and the location and extent of the airway lesion. In 50% MR and CT were equal. In 17% MR was not diagnostic, mainly because of motion degradation of the images. Transverse MR imaging can define tumor relationship to vessels. Coronal imaging allows visualization of the trachea and mainstem bronchi, and surface coil technology allows imaging with improved resolution of the proximal trachea. MR, when available, is an appropriate first imaging modality for evaluating the relationships of the tracheobronchial tree and vasculature prior to laser photoresection. If MR is not readily available, or if cardiac arrhythmia or patient motion precludes MR imaging, then contrast-enhanced CT evaluation would be the modality of choice.


 

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