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Study Establishes the Value of Cardiovascular MRI for Suspected Cardiac Tumors

The U of M Medical School study concludes that CMR should be the technique of choice

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN — In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the University of Minnesota (U of M) Medical School led a large, multicenter investigation on whether cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is the best approach in evaluating patients with suspected cardiac tumors. Their results prove that CMR provides high accuracy and prognostic value for this purpose.

“This was important to study because, until now, there was no great data supporting current clinical practice of using CMR to investigate these patients,” said lead author Chetan Shenoy, MBBS, MS, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine’s Cardiovascular Division at the U of M Medical School. “For example, if CMR shows no cardiac tumor or mass, we do not do any further testing—we do not know if this is the right approach and how well CMR serves this purpose. In this study, we wanted to validate that clinical practice.”

This multicenter study, published in the European Heart Journal, involved 903 patients from four institutions. Some of the key findings of the study are that:

  • CMR diagnosis was accurate in 98.4 percent of patients in the study.
  • CMR diagnosis is a powerful, independent predictor of death.
  • This prognostic value is incremental to clinical factors.

“These data provide the first large-scale validation of the clinical practice of using CMR to exclude a cardiac tumor and to diagnose the type of tumor,” said Shenoy, who is also a cardiologist with Minnesota Health Fairview. “By demonstrating high accuracy and long-term prognostic value, our results confirm that CMR can be used as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for this clinical indication. We anticipate our findings will shape future guidelines, appropriateness documents, and health policies on this topic.”

Coauthors on the paper include John D. Grizzard and Marianna Zagurovskaya from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center; Dipan J. Shah, Mahwash Kassi, and Michael J. Reardon from Houston Methodist Hospital; and Han W. Kim, Michele A. Parker, and Raymond J. Kim from Duke University Medical Center.

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant K23HL132011) to Chetan Shenoy and (R01HL64726) to Raymond J. Kim.

- This press release was originally published on the University of Minnesota Medical School website