Evaluation of pneumonia in children: comparison of MRI with fast imaging sequences at 1.5T with chest radiographs
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BACKGROUND: Although there has been a study aimed at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation of pneumonia in children at a low magnetic field (0.2T), there is no study which assessed the efficacy of MRI, particularly with fast imaging sequences at 1.5T, for evaluating pneumonia in children. PURPOSE: To investigate the efficacy of chest MRI with fast imaging sequences at 1.5T for evaluating pneumonia in children by comparing MRI findings with those of chest radiographs. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This was an Institutional Review Board-approved, HIPPA-compliant prospective study of 40 consecutive pediatric patients (24 boys, 16 girls; mean age 7.3 years ± 6.6 years) with pneumonia, who underwent PA and lateral chest radiographs followed by MRI within 24 h. All MRI studies were obtained in axial and coronal planes with two different fast imaging sequences: T1-weighted FFE (Fast Field Echo) (TR/TE: 83/4.6) and T2-weigthed B-FFE M2D (Balanced Fast Field Echo Multiple 2D Dimensional) (TR/TE: 3.2/1.6). Two experienced pediatric radiologists reviewed each chest radiograph and MRI for the presence of consolidation, necrosis/abscess, bronchiectasis, and pleural effusion. Chest radiograph and MRI findings were compared with Kappa statistics. RESULTS: All consolidation, lung necrosis/abscess, bronchiectasis, and pleural effusion detected with chest radiographs were also detected with MRI. There was statistically substantial agreement between chest radiographs and MRI in detecting consolidation (k = 0.78) and bronchiectasis (k = 0.72) in children with pneumonia. The agreement between chest radiographs and MRI was moderate for detecting necrosis/abscess (k = 0.49) and fair for detecting pleural effusion (k = 0.30). CONCLUSION: MRI with fast imaging sequences is comparable to chest radiographs for evaluating underlying pulmonary consolidation, bronchiectasis, necrosis/abscess, and pleural effusion often associated with pneumonia in children.
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