Impact of Surgical Evaluation of Additional Cine Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Advanced Thymoma with Infiltration of Adjacent Structures: The Thoracic Surgeon's View

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Preoperative radiological assessment is important for clarification of surgical operability for advanced thymic tumors. Objective was to determine the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with cine sequences for evaluation of cardiovascular tumor invasion.

Patients and Methods

This prospective study included patients with advanced thymoma, who underwent surgical resection. All patients received preoperative computed tomography (CT) scan and cine MRI.


Tumor infiltration was surgically confirmed in the pericardium (n = 12), myocardium (n = 1), superior caval vein (SCV; n = 3), and aorta (n = 2). A macroscopic complete resection was possible in 10 patients, whereas 2 patients with aortic or myocardial tumor invasion had R2 resection. The positive predictive value (PPV) was 50% for cine MRI compared with 0% for CT scan regarding myocardial tumor infiltration. The PPV for tumor infiltration of the aorta was 50%, with a higher sensitivity for the CT scan (100 vs. 50%). Infiltration of the SCV could be detected slightly better with cine MRI (PPV 75 vs. 66.7%).


Cine MRI seems to improve the accuracy of preoperative staging of advanced thymoma regarding infiltration of cardiovascular structures and supports the surgical approach.

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