Proton MRI appearance of cystic fibrosis: comparison to CT

Eur Radiol. 2007 Mar;17(3):716-24. doi: 10.1007/s00330-006-0373-4. Epub 2006 Aug 29.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most frequent inherited disorder leading to premature death in the Caucasian population. As life expectancy is limited by pulmonary complications, repeated imaging [chest X-ray, multislice high-resolution computed tomography (MS-HRCT)] is required in the follow-up. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lung parenchyma is a promising new diagnostic tool. Its value for imaging lung changes caused by CF compared with CT is demonstrated. MRI performs well when compared with CT, which serves as the gold standard. Its lack in spatial resolution is obvious, but advantages in contrast and functional assessment compensate for this limitation. Thus, MRI is a reasonable alternative for imaging the CF lung and should be introduced as a radiation-free modality for follow-up studies in CF patients. For further evaluation of the impact of MRI, systematic studies comparing MRI and conventional imaging modalities are necessary. Furthermore, the value of the additional functional MRI (fMRI) information has to be studied, and a scoring system for the morphological and functional aspect of MRI has to be established.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchography
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Mucus / metabolism*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed