Diffusion-Weighted Imaging in the Evaluation of Lung, Mediastinum, Heart, and Chest Wall

  • Antonio LunaEmail author
  • Teodoro Martín
  • Javier Sánchez González


Until very recently, DWI has not been extensively explored in the chest due to technical limitations and high propensity to artifacts and distortion. The advent of more powerful gradients, parallel imaging, phased-array coils, and EPI sequences has increased its use, although it still is in an early phase. The use of 3T magnets for chest DWI has been demonstrated as feasible with state-of-the-art equipments. Characterization of pulmonary nodules, lung cancer staging, and characterization of mediastinal masses and pleural effusions are the areas with more promising results. In some cases, DWI may be even superior to PET or PET-CT. In pulmonary nodules and mediastinal lymph nodes, characterization results from DWI and PET are comparable, with less false-positive results for DWI. An area of research is the evaluation of lung parenchyma diseases with hyperpolarized gases by means of DWI. Recently, DWI has been proposed for evaluation of cardiac masses and edema. Furthermore, cardiac DTI is a research tool for understanding the microstructure and organization of the myocardial fibers.


Small Cell Lung Cancer Pulmonary Nodule Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Solitary Pulmonary Nodule Exudative Pleural Effusion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Luna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Teodoro Martín
    • 2
  • Javier Sánchez González
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Time GroupJaénSpain
  2. 2.Neuroradiology SectionClínica Las Nieves, SERCOSA, Health Time GroupJaénSpain
  3. 3.Philips Medical SystemsMadridSpain

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