MRI of the lungs and bronchi: what shows?


In the lung tissue contains air. Therefore, diagnostics of lung tissue is difficult, the results obtained are not sufficiently visualize the structural characteristics of bronchoalveolar tissue. However, the study helps to determine the condition of the bronchi, lymph nodes, blood vessels, and to identify the fluid and tumors in the lungs, the mediastinum, the pleural cavity. When a malignancy in the respiratory system, can determine its characteristics (type, size, structure, germination and presence of his character). Since in the resulting image clearly delineated the vessels, tissue structure, fluid, MRI is better to inform about existing tumors in the lungs, exudative pleurisy, tuberculosis, than x-ray examination. The diagnostic capabilities of MRI facilitate the choice of treatment tactics and help to solve the question about the possibility of resection of tumors of the respiratory system.

In the case of the contrast becomes possible to obtain data on the structure of the tops of the lungs, the spine, the space between the lungs and the diaphragm in three dimensions (horizontal, lateral, direct). This study can be used as many times as needed.

Imaging is not done in the case of:

  • The functioning of the pacemaker.
  • Ferromagnetic or electronic implants and prostheses of the middle ear.
  • Metal fragments and grafts, Ilizarov in the body after injury, surgery about lengthening, alignment of extremities and so on.
  • The scanner of the closed type is applied if the weight of a person less than 150 lbs. In an open MRI scanner provides more weight to the test.
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  • Individual intolerance to contrast agents.

From the MRI should be abandoned in the presence of:

  • Pregnancy, especially in the beginning. No data on the safety of magnetic fields on the formation and development of the fetus.
  • Claustrophobia. This condition requires constant monitoring of the patient.
  • Insanity or extreme severity of the condition (for example, artificial ventilation of the lungs).

In such cases it is better not to assign the study.

Preparing to undergo magnetic resonance imaging

Before the procedure without the administration of contrast agents special events in preparation for the research required. When contrast, a person is prohibited to consume food 5 hours before the study. A contrast agent is injected intravenously surveyed. If you have studied human claustrophobia or increased neuro-reflex excitability, as well as children, it is better to set up a pre-sedative therapy.

All metal parts and objects, and electronic devices that are in the pockets, on clothing and on the body, can cause poor image quality because of the ability to heat up and be damaged under the influence of a magnetic field. Therefore, prior to testing, the patient all this must be put aside. After the procedure all of the things back.

The patient is placed in the MRI scanner in the supine position. The duration of a scan is about forty minutes For the entire study period, the patient forbidden to move. The price of a CT scan of the lung and bronchus ranged from 4500 to 8000 roubles.


To evaluate the primary the physician can immediately after magnetic resonance imaging. Specialist is not difficult to interpret the results of the study. It is concluded that existing diseases (tuberculosis etc.), the extent of damage to lung tissue and bronchi, the ability to resect tumors, and a number of other pathological changes.

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Malignancy is diagnosed by the presence of more dense than lung tissue, areas of parenchyma. If the picture has several such structures, the small size, it is possible to establish the fact of metastasis of the primary tumor. Magnetic resonance imaging shows cavities in tuberculosis, cystic masses with parasitic infestation, diffuse changes in certain types of pneumonia. MRI can detect inflammation of the pleura or the presence of fluid in the pleural cavity.

In the case of specific occupational diseases MRI detects contamination of the lung tissue with tiny particles of carbon or of silicon oxide.

What is the difference from x-ray studies, CT

MRI is used for diagnostic purposes in cases of suspected pathology of the lung and bronchus (tumor, tuberculosis, etc.), allows to avoid aggressive radiation that is relatively harmless to three-dimensional image, to visualize the bone tissue without distortion, to the image of the soft tissues. Therefore, the application of tomography is preferable to x – ray examination. From CT (even most modern) magnetic resonance imaging has a higher level of detail, better contrast at the boundary of different tissues, the ability to show the area to be imaged in three dimensions.

However, scanning the radio waves magnetic resonance imaging are unable to adequately display the alveolar tissue. Negative point is the high cost of research, large enough duration. Also tomography of the lungs and bronchi characterized by large dependence on respiratory movements. Thus, in the absence of breath-holding person, the result of the study may be distorted. The operation of the device requires compliance with special conditions in the room where it is located.

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Thus, MRI is quite modern informative diagnostic method. It is widely used in cases of suspected pathology of the lungs and bronchi. However, before using MRI is necessary to consult with a specialist who will help to identify contraindications.