Background: Standard imaging methods in evaluating chest wall deformities, such as Pectus Excavatum (PE) in paediatric and adolescent patients, include baseline 2-view chest radiography and chest CT scan. Only few studies to date investigated the value of fast MRIin the pre operative assessment of patient affected by PE.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of chest fast MRI in pre-operative management of patient affected by PE. To obtain the Haller Index (HI) and Asymmetry Index (AI) from chest fast MRI protecting patients from radiation exposure.
Materials and methods: We analyzed the data of 42 consecutive patients with severe PE who underwent minimally invasive repair between March 2007 and March 2010. All 42 patients received chest fast MRI, but only the first 5 in view of the results, were studied also with chest ultrafast CT scan. In both examinations, data at the deepest point of the depression were collected.
Results: Severity indices of the deformity using HI and AI, collected from CT scan and fast MRI in the first 5 patients, were comparable. In the remaining 37 fast chest MRI offered good images of the chest wall deformities with no radiation exposure, detailing anatomical information such as displacement and rotation of the heart or great vessels anomalies.
Conclusion: This study suggests the use of chest MRI in pre operative workup for patients with PE to obtain severity indices (Haller Index and Asymmetry Index avoiding radiation exposure to paediatric patients.
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