Magnetic resonance (MR) has generated considerable interest as a safe and sensitive technique for imaging human pathology. MR imaging uses physical properties of matter that are markedly different from those that result in X-ray-based (radiographic) images and thus has the potential for unique diagnostic information. Remarkable soft tissue contrast resolution and excellent delineation of blood vessels have been shown. MR also has the potential for measuring blood flow, tissue perfusion, and metabolism. Clinical application of MR imaging outside the nervous system has been inhibited by physiologic motion, which severely degrades image quality. This has been a particular problem in the thorax, where physiologic motion is most marked. Accordingly, as was the case with early computed tomography (CT) scanning, the clinical application of MR in the thorax has lagged behind its use in other regions of the body. However, sufficient information is now available to define whether MR imaging has advantages over other diagnostic modalities in the thorax, to detail its relative strengths and weakness, and to consider its possible future developments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine