The value of delayed phase enhanced imaging in malignant pleural mesothelioma

Journal of Thoracic Disease 2017 August [Link]

Patel AM,


Cross-sectional imaging of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) can underestimate the presence of local tumor invasion. Since accurate staging is vital optimal choice of therapy, techniques that optimize pleural imaging are needed. Here we estimate the optimal timing of MPM enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
All MPM patients with intravenous (IV) contrast enhanced staging MRI between 2000-2016 at our institution were retrospectively selected for image analysis. Patients with incomplete imaging protocol and maximum pleural tumor thickness <1 cm were excluded. Quantitative measurements of tumor signal intensity were obtained on pre-contrast and post-contrast phases where MRI acquisition parameters were fixed. Using best-fit model curves, predicted maximum time points of enhancement were determined using a simulation of predicted values. Additionally, a qualitative assessment of tumor conspicuity was performed at all IV contrast time delays imaged. A statistical analysis assessed for correlation between qualitative lesion conspicuity and quantitative tumor enhancement. RESULTS: Of the 42 MPM patients who had undergone staging MRI during the study period, 12 patients met the study criteria. Peak tumor enhancement was between 150 and 300 sec following IV contrast administration. Within this time window, 80% of patients are projected to have reached >80%, >85%, and >90% peak tumor enhancement. There was a statistically significant correlation between increasing tumor enhancement and subjective lesion conspicuity.
Optimal MPM enhancement on MRI likely occurs at a time delay between 2.5-5 min following IV contrast administration. Further study of delayed phase enhancement of MPM with dynamic contrast enhanced MRI is warranted.