HealthDay News — Assessment with nonvascular thoracic magnetic resonance (MR) imaging improves clinical decision making, according to a study published in the August issue of Radiology.

Jeanne B. Ackman, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the impact of nonvascular thoracic MR imaging on the clinical decision making and diagnostic certainty of thoracic surgeons. Seven thoracic surgeons participated in this two-year survey study after completing a one-time demographic survey. Each time a surgeon ordered a nonvascular thoracic MR imaging study they were sent a link to the pre-test survey, which assessed the clinical rationale for imaging and pre-test diagnostic certainty. The surgeon was then sent a link to a post-test survey upon completion of the MR imaging report. Data were included from 99 pre- and post-test surveys.

The researchers found that 65% of MR imaging studies were requested due to indeterminate findings on computed tomography. MR imaging correlated with a significant reduction in the number of planned surgical interventions (P<0.001), modified the surgical approach in more than half of cases (54%), and increased surgeon comfort with patient management in 95% of cases. As a result of MR imaging, increased diagnostic certainty was highly significant (P<0.0001).

“In appropriate cases, assessment with nonvascular thoracic MR imaging substantially affects the clinical decision making and diagnostic certainty of thoracic surgeons,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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