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      Cardiac and pericardial tumors: A potential application of positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging

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          Cardiac and pericardial masses may be neoplastic, benign and malignant, non-neoplastic such as thrombus or simple pericardial cysts, or normal variants cardiac structure can also be a diagnostic challenge. Currently, there are several imaging modalities for diagnosis of cardiac masses; each technique has its inherent advantages and disadvantages. Echocardiography, is typically the initial test utilizes in such cases, Echocardiography is considered the test of choice for evaluation and detection of cardiac mass, it is widely available, portable, with no ionizing radiation and provides comprehensive evaluation of cardiac function and valves, however, echocardiography is not very helpful in many cases such as evaluation of extracardiac extension of mass, poor tissue characterization, and it is non diagnostic in some cases. Cross sectional imaging with cardiac computed tomography provides a three dimensional data set with excellent spatial resolution but utilizes ionizing radiation, intravenous iodinated contrast and relatively limited functional evaluation of the heart. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) has excellent contrast resolution that allows superior soft tissue characterization. CMR offers comprehensive evaluation of morphology, function, tissue characterization. The great benefits of CMR make CMR a highly useful tool in the assessment of cardiac masses. (Fluorine 18) fluorodeoxygluocse (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) has become a corner stone in several oncological application such as tumor staging, restaging, treatment efficiency, FDG is a very useful imaging modality in evaluation of cardiac masses. A recent advance in the imaging technology has been the development of integrated PET-MRI system that utilizes the advantages of PET and MRI in a single examination. FDG PET-MRI provides complementary information on evaluation of cardiac masses. The purpose of this review is to provide several clinical scenarios on the incremental value of PET and MRI in the evaluation of cardiac masses.

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          Most cited references 26

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          ACCF/ASE/AHA/ASNC/HFSA/HRS/SCAI/SCCM/SCCT/SCMR 2011 Appropriate Use Criteria for Echocardiography. A Report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, American Society of Echocardiography, American Heart Association, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Heart Failure Society of America, Heart Rhythm Society, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance American College of Chest Physicians.

          The American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), in partnership with the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and along with key specialty and subspecialty societies, conducted a review of common clinical scenarios where echocardiography is frequently considered. This document combines and updates the original transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography appropriateness criteria published in 2007 (1) and the original stress echocardiography appropriateness criteria published in 2008 (2). This revision reflects new clinical data, reflects changes in test utilization patterns,and clarifies echocardiography use where omissions or lack of clarity existed in the original criteria.The indications (clinical scenarios)were derived from common applications or anticipated uses, as well as from current clinical practice guidelines and results of studies examining the implementation of the original appropriate use criteria (AUC).The 202 indications in this document were developed by a diverse writing group and scored by a separate independent technical panel on a scale of 1 to 9,to designate appropriate use(median 7 to 9), uncertain use(median 4 to 6), and inappropriate use (median 1 to 3). Ninety-seven indications were rated as appropriate, 34 were rated as uncertain, and 71 were rated as inappropriate. In general,the use of echocardiography for initial diagnosis when there is a change in clinical status or when the results of the echocardiogram are anticipated to change patient management were rated appropriate. Routine testing when there was no change in clinical status or when results of testing were unlikely to modify management were more likely to be inappropriate than appropriate/uncertain.The AUC for echocardiography have the potential to impact physician decision making,healthcare delivery, and reimbursement policy. Furthermore,recognition of uncertain clinical scenarios facilitates identification of areas that would benefit from future research.
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            Differentiation of malignant and benign cardiac tumors using 18F-FDG PET/CT.

            In the diagnostic algorithm of cardiac tumors, the noninvasive determination of malignancy and metastatic spread is of major interest to stratify patients and to select and monitor therapies. In the diagnostic work-up, morphologic imaging modalities such as echocardiography or magnetic resonance tomography offer information on, for example, size, invasiveness, and vascularization. However, preoperative assessment of malignancy may be unsatisfactory. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of (18)F-FDG PET and the incremental diagnostic value of an optimized CT score in this clinical scenario. (18)F-FDG PET/CT scans (whole-body imaging with low-dose CT) of 24 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed cardiac tumors were analyzed (11 men, 13 women; mean age ± SD, 59 ± 13 y). The maximum standardized uptake values (SUV(max)) of the tumors were measured. Patients were divided into 2 groups: benign cardiac tumors (n = 7) and malignant cardiac tumors (n = 17) (cardiac primaries [n = 8] and metastases [n = 9]). SUV(max) was compared between the 2 groups. Results were compared with contrast-enhanced CT, using standardized criteria of malignancy. Histology served as ground truth. Mean SUV(max) was 2.8 ± 0.6 in benign cardiac tumors and significantly higher both in malignant primary and in secondary cardiac tumors (8.0 ± 2.1 and 10.8 ± 4.9, P < 0.01). Malignancy was determined with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 86% (accuracy, 96%), after a cutoff with high sensitivity (SUV(max) of 3.5) was chosen to avoid false-negatives. Morphologic imaging reached a sensitivity of 82% and a specificity of 86% (accuracy, 83%). Both false-positive and false-negative decisions in morphology could be corrected in all but 1 case using a metabolic threshold with an SUV(max) of 3.5. In addition, extracardiac tumor manifestations were detected in 4 patients by whole-body (18)F-FDG PET/CT. (18)F-FDG PET/CT can aid the noninvasive preoperative determination of malignancy and may be helpful in detecting metastases of malignant cardiac tumors.
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              MR imaging of cardiac tumors.

              Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is an important tool in the evaluation of cardiac neoplasms. T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and gadolinium-enhanced sequences are used for anatomic definition and tissue characterization, whereas cine gradient-echo imaging is used to assess functional effects. Recent improvements in pulse sequences for cardiac MR imaging have led to superior image quality, with reduced motion artifact and improved signal-to-noise ratio and tissue contrast. Although there is some overlap in the MR imaging appearances of cardiac tumors, particularly of primary malignancies, differences in characteristic locations and features should allow confident differentiation between benign and malignant tumors. Indicators of malignancy at MR imaging are invasive behavior, involvement of the right side of the heart or the pericardium, tissue inhomogeneity, diameter greater than 5 cm, and enhancement after administration of gadolinium contrast material (as a result of higher tissue vascularity). Concomitant pericardial or pleural effusions are rare in benign processes but occur in about 50% of cases of malignant tumors. MR imaging offers improved resolution, a larger field of view, and superior soft-tissue contrast compared with those of echocardiography, suggesting that knowledge of the MR imaging features of cardiac neoplasms is important for accurate diagnosis and management. (c) RSNA, 2005.

                Author and article information

                World J Cardiol
                World Journal of Cardiology
                Baishideng Publishing Group Inc
                26 July 2017
                26 July 2017
                : 9
                : 7
                : 600-608
                Ahmed Fathala, Mohei Abouzied, Abdul-Aziz AlSugair, Department of Radiology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia
                Author notes

                Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to this work.

                Correspondence to: Ahmed Fathala, MD, Consultant Nuclear Medicine and Cardiovascular Imaging, Department of Radiology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, P.O. Box 3354, MBC 28, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia. afathala@

                Telephone: +966-55-2532402 Fax: +966-11-4424841

                ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.

                Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:


                echocardiography, pericardial tumors, cardiac


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