Differentiation of bronchogenic carcinoma from postobstructive pneumonitis by magnetic resonance imaging: Histopathologic correlation

P. M. Bourgouin, T. C. McLoud, J. F. Fitzgibbon, E. J. Mark, J. A O Shepard, Elizabeth H Moore, E. Rummeny, T. J. Brady

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Abstract

Obstructive pneumonitis frequently occurs distal to hilar bronchogenic carcinomas or in lung adjacent to peripheral tumors. The article evaluates the role of MRI in the differentiation of tumor from pneumonitis. Twelve patients underwent MRI of the thorax before surgery. T1-weighted (SE 310/20) and T2-weighted (SE 2000/60-120) images were obtained through the tumor and presumed areas of pneumonitis. Five histologic types of pneumonitis were identified on pathologic examination of the 12 specimens. Cholesterol pneumonitis, found in 7 patients, was the most common type. Organizing pneumonitis, bronchiectasis with mucus plugs, atelectasis, and abscess were found in 3, 4, 2, and 1 patients, respectively. MRI was able to differentiate tumor from pneumonitis in 5 of 6 patients with a hilar mass and in 5 of 6 patients with a peripheral tumor. This was achieved by a visual difference in signal intensity on heavily T2-weighted (SE 2000/120) images. Cholesterol pneumonitis and bronchiectasis with mucus plugs were always hyperintense relative to tumor, and organizing pneumonitis and atelectasis were isointense and indistinguishable from tumor. MRI can differentiate tumor from pneumonitis provided that pneumonitis is of the cholesterol type or if there are mucus plugs in the collapsed lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic Imaging
Volume6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

Bourgouin, P. M., McLoud, T. C., Fitzgibbon, J. F., Mark, E. J., Shepard, J. A. O., Moore, E. H., Rummeny, E., & Brady, T. J. (1991). Differentiation of bronchogenic carcinoma from postobstructive pneumonitis by magnetic resonance imaging: Histopathologic correlation. Journal of Thoracic Imaging, 6(2), 22-27.