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Mesothelioma and MRI Scans: Using an Old Tool in a New Way

Mesothelioma and MRI Scans: Using an Old Tool in a New Way

Imaging scans are an important tool in helping clinicians diagnose mesothelioma. These scans include X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and PET scans. These tools help clinicians to see tumors inside a patient’s body. The results of the scan cannot diagnose mesothelioma, but it is an important tool for arriving at the correct diagnosis.

Unlike X-rays and CT’s, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans use a completely different type of radiation. An MRI applies a very strong magnetic field to change the spin of protons. The scanner also produces a radio frequency. This process produces a signal that can be made into an image.

Until now, the role of MRIs has been limited in mesothelioma. However, new evidence suggests MRIs can be used to diagnose mesothelioma earlier.

Using MRIs to Diagnose Tumors

The study reviewed 1,246 published papers and 17 clinical studies and found that MRIs have the potential to distinguish benign from malignant diseases. This is important because it will let doctors diagnose mesothelioma earlier without an invasive procedures like surgery.

The MRI scan, however, takes at least 20-25 minutes. This could be a limiting factor for patients with certain limitations. For example, patients with breathing problems may not be suited to have these MRIs.

The advantages of using an MRI for diagnosis are many. There is a lack of radiation exposure compared to the other imaging techniques. Patients also have fewer reactions to the contrast media used in MRI scans. There is also a the benefit of an earlier diagnosis potentially without surgery,


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for disease evaluation have long been discussed.

Current medical knowledge all agrees. MRIs can help clinicians pick out benign tumors from malignant pleural disease. This has implications for malignant pleural mesothelioma and MRI protocols.

Clinicians can use MRI scans as a tool to diagnose mesothelioma more quickly. An early diagnosis is a key to increasing positive patient outcomes. This new application for MRI scans provides new hope for the disease.


Volpi, Federica, Caterina A. D’Amore, Leonardo Colligiani, Alessio Milazzo, Silvia Cavaliere, Annalisa De Liperi, Emanuele Neri, and Chiara Romei. “The Use of Chest Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosis.” Diagnostics 12, no. 3 (2022): 750. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12030750


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