Incidental findings in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging: superiority of bSSFP over T1w-HASTE for extra-cardiac findings assessment
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Incidental findings are frequent in radiological examinations and may have an impact on further patient management. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze, which of two thoracic scout sequences is more suitable for detecting incidental extra-cardiac findings at cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) with stress perfusion. During a 14-month period clinically indicated stress perfusion CMRI was performed in 97 consecutive patients. For anatomical orientation ECG-triggered (electrocardiography) T1w-Half-fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE) and balanced steady state free precession (bSSFP) sequences were performed for planning the standard cardiac sequences. Two radiologists independently studied incidental extra-cardiac findings with both sequences and rated the diagnostic confidence of the sequences for this assessment using a multinomial model. Furthermore, the interobserver agreement between the observers was assessed by weighted kappa statistics. Eight patients without incidental findings were excluded. In the other 89 patients a total of 153 incidental extra-cardiac findings were observed. Overall, 47.1% of findings were seen with better diagnostic confidence at bSSFP as opposed to 20.6% at T1w-HASTE. 32.4% of findings were equally well seen with both sequences. Consequently the bSSFP sequence was significantly better in terms of diagnostic confidence for detecting the majority of extra-cardiac incidental findings (P < 0.01), whereas a minority of findings was better visible by the HASTE sequence. The weighted kappa statistics was 0.85, indicating good interobserver agreement. Compared with T1w-HASTE, the bSSFP sequence improved the visibility of incidental extra-cardiac findings at stress perfusion CMRI. While all findings were seen on both sequences, bSSFP resulted in improved diagnostic confidence, and the T1w-HASTE sequence provided complementary diagnostic information in only a minority of patients.
KeywordsCardiac MRI Localizer sequences Extra-cardiac pathologies HASTE bSSFP
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
Half-fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin echo
Balanced steady state free precession
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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