PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to find useful imaging features on non-contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that can divide patients with thymic epithelial tumor (TET) into clinical stage I-II and III-IV groups under assumption that contrast media are contraindicated.MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study included 106 patients (median age, 60years; range, 27-82years; 62 women) with surgically resected TET who underwent MRI between August 1986 and July 2015. All cases were classified according to the 2015 WHO classification and staged using the eighth edition of the TNM system. Two radiologists independently evaluated 14 categories of MRI findings; the findings in patients with stage I-II were compared with those of patients with stage III-IV using a logistic regression model. Disease-specific survival associated with significant findings was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.RESULTS: Univariate analysis showed that stage III-IV patients were more likely to have tumors with an irregular contour, heterogeneity on T1WI, low-signal intensity on T2WI, irregular border with lung, findings of great vessel invasion (GVI) (hereafter, GVI sign), pericardial thickening/nodule, and lymphadenopathy (all, P<0.01). On multivariable analysis, only two findings, irregular border between tumor and lung (odds ratio [OR], 272.8; 95% CI 26.6-2794.1; P<0.001) and positive GVI sign (OR, 49.3; 95% CI 4.5-539.8; P=0.001) remained statistically significant. Patients with one or both features had significantly worse survival (log-rank test, P<0.001).CONCLUSION: For patients with TET who are unable to receive contrast for preoperative staging, the two image findings of an irregular border between tumor and lung and the positive GVI sign on non-contrast-enhanced MRI could be helpful in determining stage III-IV disease which is associated with a worse survival.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11604-022-01358-y
View details for PubMedID 36374474