Diagnosis of Pulmonary
Embolism with Magnetic Resonance Angiography
Key Clinical Points
- MRA of the pulmonary arteries, as compared to
conventional pulmonary angiography, had a high
sensitivity ( 100%) and specificity (95%) for diagnosis
of pulmonary embolism.
- With a +LR of 22 and a -LR of 0, MRA may prove to offer a
non-invasive method for diagnosing PE without exposing
patients toiodinated contrast, but a randomized
controlled trial is needed.
- MRA is limited by the need for patients to hold their
breath for 27 seconds to avoid motion artifact.
- 30 patients with suspected PE undergoing both angiography
- The power of the study is limited by the small sample
- The characteristics of the patient population are not
well described in terms of the clinical suspicion for PE
- 10% (3 of 30) of patients had multiple vascular segments
that were unable to be visualized secondary to motion
- Interobserver correlation was good and 2 of 3
interpreters had only one year of experience with MRA of
the pulmonary vasculature.
Meaney JFM, Weg JG, Chenevert TL, et al. Diagnosis of pulmonary
embolism with magnetic resonance angiography. NEJM.1997
May 15; 336:1422-7.