• Angelo Iannarelli
  • Stefano Badia
  • Marco RengoEmail author


Among the modalities for chest imaging such as X-ray and computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been the latest to be introduced into clinical practice.

It is emerging as a valuable alternative when radiation exposure or iodinated contrast material is contraindicated such as in the case of pediatric patients affected by cystic fibrosis or acute pulmonary embolism in pregnant women because it gives additional functional information on respiratory mechanics and regional lung perfusion.

Unlike CT and PET-TC, MRI has superior soft-tissue contrast with high spatial resolution but it is more susceptible to cardiac and respiratory motion artifacts; however recent advances in MRI techniques like diffusion-weighted, perfusion sequences and use of new contrast media have improved the diagnostic capabilities of MRI in detecting and staging lung cancer providing not only morphologic but also functional information.

Another peculiarity of this technique is considered to be the gold standard also 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.

Unfortunately, MRI of the chest is still rarely used, except in a few centers, due to lack of consistent protocols customized to clinical needs.


Magnetic resonance imaging Chest Pulmonary lesions Diffusion-weighted imaging Apparent diffusion coefficient Cystic fibrosis Central lung carcinoma Pleural disease Pulmonary embolism Airway disease Functional imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiological, Oncological and Pathological SciencesUniversity of Rome “Sapienza”—RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Radiological, Oncological and Pathological SciencesUniversity of Rome “Sapienza”—Polo PontinoLatinaItaly

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