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Thoracic MRI evaluation of sarcoidosis in children

Sureyya Burcu Gorkem, Seçil Köse, Edward Y Lee, Selim Doğanay, Ayse Seda Coskun, Mehmet Köse
Pediatric Pulmonology 2017, 52 (4): 494-499

BACKGROUND: Childhood sarcoidosis is a very rare granulomatous disorder with an unknown etiology. Stage 1 disease is the most common whereas stages 2, 3, and 0 are rare in children.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate thoracic findings of pediatric pulmonary sarcoidosis on MRI and to compare them with CT findings.

METHODS: Between August 2010 and May 2015, seven consecutive pediatric patients (four male, three female; age range: 8-18 years, mean age: 13.5 ± 3.01 years) who were diagnosed with sarcoidosis were enrolled in our study prospectively. Inclusion criterion was patients with stages 1-4 sarcoidosis who underwent contrast enhanced chest CT for initial diagnosis or follow-up evaluation of thoracic findings and exclusion criteria were patients with stage 0 disease with extra-pulmonary manifestations (n = 4).

RESULTS: Two patients who recovered from stage 2 to stage 0 were interpreted as normal. Five patients had abnormal findings on chest CT, including hilar/mediastinal lymphadenopathy (n = 5, 71%), nodules larger than 3 mm (n = 4, 57%), ground glass opacity (n = 4, 57%), thickening of the pleura/fissure (n = 3, 42%), interlobular septal thickening (n = 2, 28%), atelectasis (n = 1, 14%), consolidation (n = 1, 14%), bronchiectasis (n = 1, 14%), intraparenchymal and subpleural cysts (n = 1,14%), fibrotic bands (n = 1, 14%), and enlarged pulmonary artery (n = 1, 14%). Findings that were detected on CT but not observed by lung MRI were nodules <3 mm (n = 4, 57%), mild bronchiectasis and mild ground glass opacity (n = 1, 14%), and subpleural and intraparenchymal cysts (n = 1, 14%). The sensitivity and specificity of MRI were 85.2% and 100%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between lung MRI and CT in detecting the thoracic findings in stages 1, 2, and 4 sarcoidosis (P = 0.1336, 95%Cl).

CONCLUSION: Contrast-enhanced lung MRI with fast imaging sequences is a highly sensitive imaging modality and comparable with CT in evaluating both lung and cardiac abnormalities in pediatric sarcoidosis. Given there is no associated ionizing radiation, chest MRI is a promising imaging modality in this pediatric patient population. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2017;52:494-499. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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