Thursday, August 18, 2016

MRI results impact thoracic surgery

Jeanne Ackman, MD

A recent study in Radiology found that MRI results substantially affect the clinical decision making of thoracic surgeons.

In a two-year prospective study, thoracic radiologist Jeanne Ackman, MD and colleagues surveyed seven thoracic surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital before and after a nonvascular thoracic MRI was performed to help diagnose and characterize various intrathoracic masses. In 65% of cases, indeterminate chest CT findings prompted the MRI.

The authors found that MRI imaging:

  • Significantly reduced the number of surgeries that had initially been planned on the basis of the CT results
  • Reduced the need for follow-up or additional clinical care by 21%
  • Modified the surgical approach in over half of all surgical cases (54%)
  • Significantly increased diagnostic certainty
  • Increased the surgeon’s comfort level with the patient’s care plan in almost all cases (95%)

"Thoracic MR imaging offers great value
to patients, preventing unnecessary
surgery and follow-up care."

Jeanne Ackman, MD
Director of Thoracic MRI
Mass General Imaging

The authors concluded that assessment by nonvascular thoracic MRI imaging in appropriate situations substantially and favorably affects the clinical decision-making of thoracic surgeons.

“Thoracic MRI has greatly improved our ability to discriminate an anterior mediastinal mass,” says Michael Lanuti, MD, director of thoracic oncology in reference to chest tumors in the area that separates the lungs. He explains that thoracic surgeons are frequently faced with these lesions for which surgical removal is considered to rule out malignant disease.

“Thoracic MRI can now be used in the assessment of these lesions to further differentiate benign from malignant disease, thus reducing the need for unnecessary surgery,” he says.

“Thoracic MR imaging offers great value to patients, preventing unnecessary surgery and follow-up care,” says Dr. Ackman. “It is our hope that thoracic MR training, education and performance become more universal to the great benefit of patients.”

Learn more about thoracic imaging at Mass General.



Back to Top