Radiography" href="/tag/Digital-Radiography.html">Digital Radiography: MRI is proving to be one of the most significantly important diagnostic imaging modalities. New conditions are identified by using the procedure. However, some organs are not usually imaged using MRI; among these organs are the lungs. The lung conditions are not oftenly diagnosed using MRI. However, recent improvements in hardware and scanner technology may change that fact. Today, MRI provides two main advantages for the diagnostic pathways for pulmonary diseases.
The first advantage is that MRI offers significant help in structural and functional assessment of the lungs in a single 35 minutes examination. Applying a standard protocol, pathological conditions of the lung parenchyma can be easily detected by T1-weighted, T2-weighted, inversion-recovery, fat suppression, contrast enhancement and diffusion-weighted imaging. Functional assessment uses MR angiography of the pulmonary arteries, perfusion of lung and/or tumors, (right) cardiac function, and ventilation. Moreover, MRI may provide help in simplifying diagnosis for patients having pulmonary diseases. So instead of using the current procedure, such as conventional X-ray, CT or ECG, MRI can be used asa single imaging technique.
The second advantage provided by MRI is the significantly safety profile, there is no ionizing radiation, so the procedure is safe to use for children, women, and repeated patients seeking follow-up examinations. The clinical indications for using MRI on the lungs are increasing. All cross-sectional imaging in children, suspected with pulmonary disease, should be carried out using MRI. For adults, MRI can be used for several indications, such as pulmonary hypertension; T-staging of lung cancer or whole body MRI for M-staging, in addition to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
In two years time, MRI for COPD is expected to be ready to be used in a wide range across Germany, beginning within the second major project of the competence network Cosyconet, which is a cohort study involving 3,000 registered patients. Cosyconet's objective is "To determine the frequency of co-morbidities, we are going to observe and examine regularly 3,000 patients, all suffering COPD of different severities", according to Professor Claus Vogelmeier, University of Marburg. Then, MRI is going to be used to phenotype COPD lung disease and assess systemic, inflammatory co-morbidities.