Applications of Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Thorax in Pleural Diseases: A State-of-the-Art Review

Lung. 2016 June 14 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Pessôa FM, de Melo AS, Souza AS Jr, de Souza LS, Hochhegger B, Zanetti G, Marchiori E


The aim of this review was to present the main aspects of pleural diseases seen with conventional and advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. This modality is considered to be the gold standard for the evaluation of the pleural interface, characterization of complex pleural effusion, and identification of exudate and hemorrhage, as well as in the analysis of superior sulcus tumors, as it enables more accurate staging. The indication for MRI of the thorax in the identification of these conditions is increasing in comparison to computerized tomography, and it can also be used to support the diagnosis of pulmonary illnesses. This literature review describes the morphological and functional aspects of the main benign and malignant pleural diseases assessed with MRI, including mesothelioma, metastasis, lymphoma, fibroma, lipoma, endometriosis, asbestos-related pleural disease, empyema, textiloma, and splenosis.