Objective: The objective of our study was to determine the diagnostic performance of MRI based on a HASTE sequence for the detection of pulmonary nodules in comparison with MDCT.
Materials and methods: Thirty patients with known pulmonary nodules underwent both MRI and CT. CT of the lung served as the standard of reference and was performed on a 4-MDCT scanner using a routine protocol. MRI was performed with axial and coronal HASTE sequences using a high-performance 1.5-T MR scanner. Image data were analyzed in three steps after completion of all data acquisition. Step 1 was the analysis of all the CT image data. Step 2 was the analysis of all the MR image data while blinded to the results of the CT findings. Step 3 closed with a simultaneous review of all corresponding CT and MRI data, including a one-to-one correlation of the size and location of all the nodules that were detected.
Results: Compared with the sensitivity of CT, the sensitivity values for the HASTE MR sequence were as follows: 73% for lesions less than 3 mm, 86.3% for lesions between 3 and 5 mm, 95.7% for lesions between 6 and 10 mm, and 100% for lesions larger than 10 mm. The overall sensitivity of the HASTE sequence for the detection of all pulmonary lesions was 85.4%.
Conclusion: An MRI examination that consists of a HASTE sequence allows one to detect, exclude, or monitor pulmonary lesions that are 5 mm and bigger. Suspicious lesions smaller than 5 mm still need to be validated using CT.