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A Comparison Between MRI And CT In The Assessment Of Primary Tumour Volume In Mesothelioma.

S. Tsim, G. Cowell, Andrew C Kidd, R. Woodward, L. Alexander, C. Kelly, J. Foster, K. Blyth
Published 2020 · Medicine

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INTRODUCTION Primary tumour staging in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) using Computed Tomography (CT) imaging is confounded by perception errors reflecting low spatial resolution between tumour and adjacent structures. Augmentation using perfusion CT is constrained by radiation dosage. In this study, we evaluated an alternative tumour staging method using perfusion-tuned Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). METHODS Consecutive patients with suspected MPM were recruited to a prospective observational study. All had MRI (T1-weighted, isotropic, contrast-enhanced 3-Tesla perfusion imaging) and CT (contrast-enhanced) pre-biopsy. Patients diagnosed with MPM underwent MRI and CT volumetry, with readers blinded to clinical data. MRI volumetry was semi-automated, using signal intensity limits from perfusion studies to grow tumour regions within a pleural volume. A similar CT method was not possible, therefore all visible tumour was manually segmented. MRI and CT volumes were compared (agreement, correlation, analysis time, reproducibility) and associations with survival examined using Cox regression. RESULTS 58 patients were recruited and had MRI before biopsy. 31/58 were diagnosed with MPM and these scans were used for volumetry. Mean (SD) MRI and CT volumes were 370 cm3 and 302 cm3, respectively. MRI volumes were larger (average bias 61.9 cm3 (SD 116), 95 % limits (-165.5 - 289 cm3), moderately correlated with CT (r = 0.56, p = 0.002) and independently associated with survival (HR 4.03 (95 % CI 1.5-11.55), p = 0.006). CT volumes were not associated with survival, took longer to compute than MRI volumes (mean (SD) 151 (19) v 14 (2) minutes, p=<0.0001) and were less reproducible (inter-observer ICC 0.72 for CT, 0.96 for MRI). CONCLUSIONS MRI and CT generate different tumour volumes in MPM. In this study, MRI volumes were larger and were independently associated with survival. MRI volumetry was quicker and more reproducible than CT.
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