Prevalence and clinical relevance of extra-cardiac findings at cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
© Staab et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Published: 30 January 2013
The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of extra-cardiac findings in patients undergoing clinical cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) of the heart including surrounding structures and to determine the influence of those findings on patient's management.
N=854 patient studies (median age 58 ± 12 years, male 63%) were included and examined by 1.5 Tesla (T) MR to primarily analyze the cardiac anatomy and secondly the surrounding structures. Extra-cardiac findings were classified as significant (Group A) if they were recommended to additional diagnostics or therapeutical interventions and as non-significant if there was no influence on patient's management (Group B).
631 patient studies were free of any kind of extra-cardiac pathologies. In the remaining cases, 286 extra-cardiac findings were examined. There were ~0.33 extra-cardiac findings per patient. 49 were defined as significant (Group A) and 237 as nonsignificant findings (Group B). The most common Group A findings were suspicious pulmonary nodules or masses > 4 mm diameter (n=14) and aortic aneurysms (n=5). In Group B, most of the findings were hepatic cysts or hemangiomas (n=50), followed by renal cysts (n=47). 8 malignancies were certainly observed. The most frequent indication for CMRI was evaluation of cardiac stress ischemia (n=501, 59%).
Extra-cardiac findings in clinical CMRI are common in patients referred to CMRI (26%). Radiologists and cardiologists have to be aware of relevant extra-cardiac findings which might require additional diagnostics or treatment. There is an importance of paying appropriate attention to structures outside of the heart.
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