Chest Imaging - Original Article

Spin-echo and diffusion-weighted MRI in differentiation between progressive massive fibrosis and lung cancer


  • Serkan Guneyli
  • Meltem Tor
  • Hur Hassoy
  • Murat Serhat Aygun
  • Emre Altinmakas
  • Susamber Dik Altintas
  • Recep Savas

Received Date: 13.05.2020 Accepted Date: 12.07.2020 Diagn Interv Radiol 2021;27(4):469-475


We aimed to investigate the value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based parameters in differentiating between progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) and lung cancer.


This retrospective study included 60 male patients (mean age, 67.0±9.0 years) with a history of more than 10 years working in underground coal mines who underwent 1.5 T MRI of thorax due to a lung nodule/mass suspicious for lung cancer on computed tomography. Thirty patients had PMF, and the remaining ones had lung cancer diagnosed histopathologically. The sequences were as follows: coronal single-shot turbo spin echo (SSH-TSE), axial T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo (SE), balanced turbo field echo, T1-weighted high-resolution isotropic volume excitation, free-breathing and respiratory triggered diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). The patients’ demographics, lesion sizes, and MRI‐derived parameters were compared between the patients with PMF and lung cancer.


Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of DWI and respiratory triggered DWI, signal intensities on T1-weighted SE, T2-weighted SE, and SSH-TSE imaging were found to be significantly different between the groups (p < 0.001, for all comparisons). Median ADC values of free-breathing DWI in patients with PMF and cancer were 1.25 (0.93–2.60) and 0.76 (0.53–1.00) (× 10-3 mm2/s), respectively. Most PMF lesions were predominantly iso- or hypointense on T1-weighted SE, T2-weighted SE, and SSH-TSE, while most malignant ones predominantly showed high signal intensity on these sequences.


MRI study including SE imaging, specially T1-weighted SE imaging and ADC values of DWI can help to distinguish PMF from lung cancer.