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MRI Offers New Option For Surveillance Of Great Vessel Stents.

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Cardiac_MRIAccording to a new study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used alone effectively for conducting routine surveillance of some great vessel stents, such as vena cavae and aorta, which are frequently used for treating congenital cardiac defects.  The study took place at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London. Its results will be highlighted in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. MRI is one of the most significant medical imaging techniques, as it offers highly-detailed images in a non-invasive and radiation-free procedure.

MRI, CT, and angiography.

Andrew M. Taylor, MD, lead author of the study, said, "Computed tomography (CT) is regarded as the best method for follow-up of endovascular stents. However, there are concerns regarding the long-term health effects of ionizing radiation exposure. Conventional angiography can be used to image stents; however, it is not suitable for routine surveillance because of the invasive nature of the procedure." During the study, three great vessel stent materials, platinum-iridium, stainless steel, in addition to nitinol, were inserted in an aorta model. CT, ten different MRI sequences, and angiography were used to image that model. Dr. Taylor said, "Study results showed that the diagnostic accuracy of conventional angiography and CT was high for all stents and MRI visualization of the stent depended on the type of stent and the sequence used. MRI does not use radiation; however, because of artifacts, it has traditionally been thought of as an unreliable method of assessing stents." He added, "Our findings suggest that certain (MRI) sequences are accurate methods of assessing stent stenosis. This would allow more frequent assessment of stents at lower risk to patients and represent a significant change in clinical practice."


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