Purpose of review: Imaging plays an important role in the diagnosis and optimal treatment of patients with pleural diseases. MRI is a noninvasive imaging modality, which is not commonly used as first-line investigation in this field, but is often called upon to solve specific dilemmas. In this review, the basic methodology of MRI and its usefulness in pleural diseases will be explored.
Recent findings: Recent advances in MRI technology have allowed the application of novel sequences, not only for anatomical but also for functional imaging. Improvement was mainly achieved by means of diffusion-weighted and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. These sequences can be used not only for detection, but also for characterization of pleural lesions. Even detection of pleural tumor recurrence and treatment response monitoring is possible.
Summary: The use of conventional and functional MR sequences has led to improvements in the detection and characterization of pleural diseases. This technique, whether or not in combination with SPECT and PET (so called multimodality approach), could be an added value in the near future.