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A new diagnostic approach to vascular rings and pulmonary slings: the role of MRI

A new diagnostic approach to vascular rings and pulmonary slings: the role of MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 16(2): 137-145

The conventional diagnostic work-up of a patient suspected of having a vascular cause for stridor, or dysphagia, includes esophagography and bronchoscopy to delineate the abnormal structure without imaging the structure itself. Cine-angiography is regarded as the golden standard, but is not routinely performed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is non-invasive and has the important advantage over cine-angiography of depicting all structures in the field of view. Color Doppler echocardiography depicts the great vessels, but not the esophagus and trachea. In 14 patients with obstructive symptoms and in four patients without obstructive symptoms MRI successfully imaged the abnormal structure, as was the case in two symptomatic patients using computer tomography. In this series, the findings were confirmed at surgery or by cine-angiography. we suggest that in patients suspected of having a vascular cause for stridor or dysphagia, MRI should be performed. If there is need for a screening procedure, color Doppler echocardiography should be used and if that is equivocal or non-conclusive, esophagography and bronchoscopy should be used. If MRI is difficult to interpret, it should be augmented by magnetic resonance angiography before considering cine-angiography.

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Accession: 045079943

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PMID: 9508270

DOI: 10.1016/s0730-725x(97)00245-2

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