We studied the use of MR imaging with a limited-flip-angle, gradient-refocused pulse sequence to show central pulmonary emboli in 11 patients and to distinguish acute from chronic emboli. The central pulmonary vasculature was imaged by using a cine-limited-flip-angle (cine-MR) pulse sequence with 63/13 (TR/TE) and a 30° flip angle (θ), as well as standard spin-echo sequences. Patients were selected on the basis of suspicion of central pulmonary embolism and correlative studies done within 24 hr of the MR examination. Correlations with other studies were based on the original MR report and blinded review of the MR images by 2 observers in consensus. Emboli were shown in all cases by cine-MR, and they corresponded to the locations of angiographic abnormalities and mismatched perfusion defects on scintigraphy. In 3 patients considered to have acute pulmonary embolus on the basis of angiography, the cine-MR studies were consistent with acute pulmonary embolus in 2 patients and chronic pulmonary embolus in one patient (however, in that patient pathologic examination showed chronic embolism). In one case in which angiography led to the diagnosis of acute and chronic pulmonary embolism, the cine-MR study showed acute embolism. In 3 patients thought to have chronic pulmonary embolus on the basis of angiography, the cine-MR study was interpreted as representing acute embolus in one patient and chronic embolus in 2 patients. In this highly selected, small group of patients. cine-MR imaging was accurate in showing central pulmonary embolism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging