Purpose: The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) and half-Fourier-acquisition single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE) fast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences in the evaluation of pulmonary progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) in comparison with computed tomography (CT) imaging. If fast MRI is proven to be diagnostically significant, this modality can be used for diagnosis and follow-up studies of PMF patients.
Materials and methods: Twenty-two PMF lesions from 20 coal workers were evaluated. After CT imaging, patients underwent pre-contrast VIBE, contrast-enhanced VIBE, and HASTE MRI studies for detection and evaluation of the PMF lesions. Measurements of the three groups were evaluated with intra-class coefficients. Correlation levels between sizes, image quality, and artifact were evaluated with linear Pearson correlation analysis.
Results: There was almost perfect agreement among radiologists for lesion detection with kappa analysis. There was significant agreement between three MRI study groups and gold standard CT images. We found the best agreement values with contrast- enhanced VIBE images for lesion detection and image quality in comparison with CT imaging. Presence of artifact was also lowest with this protocol.
Conclusion: With fast MRI sequences in pulmonary imaging, image quality has significantly improved being very close to that of CT studies. In this study, contrast-enhanced VIBE protocol provided the best depiction of PMF lesions. This protocol may be an alternative choice for CT, avoiding the use of iodinated contrast material and minimizing exposure to ionizing radiation for follow-up studies.