Author(s): Ciet P, Wielopolski P, Manniesing R, Lever S, de Bruijne M,
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Abstract Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) is defined as an excessive collapse of the intrathoracic trachea. Bronchoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing TBM; however it has major disadvantages, such as general anaesthesia. Cine computed tomography (CT) is a noninvasive alternative used to diagnose TBM, but its use in children is restricted by ionising radiation. Our aim was to evaluate the feasibility of spirometer-controlled cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an alternative to cine-CT in a retrospective study. 12 children with a mean age (range) of 12 years (7-17 years), suspected of having TBM, underwent cine-MRI. Static scans were acquired at end-inspiration and expiration covering the thorax using a three-dimensional spoiled gradient echo sequence. Three-dimensional dynamic scans were performed covering only the central airways. TBM was defined as a decrease of the trachea or bronchi diameter >50\% at end-expiration in the static and dynamic scans. The success rate of the cine-MRI protocol was 92\%. Cine-MRI was compared with bronchoscopy or chest CT in seven subjects. TBM was diagnosed by cine-MRI in seven (58\%) out of 12 children and was confirmed by bronchoscopy or CT. In four patients, cine-MRI demonstrated tracheal narrowing that was not present in the static scans. Spirometer controlled cine-MRI is a promising technique to assess TBM in children and has the potential to replace bronchoscopy.
This article was published in Eur Respir J
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine