5 commonly used imaging tecniques in the diagnosis of Mesothelioma

To make a diagnosis of mesothelioma, doctors usually start with the taking of a detailed medical history from the patient. Once there is enough clinical suspicion from the history the doctor will usually order for certain imaging tests and fluid and tissue sample tests for making a definitive diagnosis. This article will be looking at the different types of imaging tests that are usually used to diagnose mesothelioma.

Some of the most commonly used imaging methods include:

1-Chest X-ray

A chest x-ray can show the following:

-pleural effusion, this is accumulation of excessive fluid in the pleural space either in the right {60%} pleural space or in the left {40%} pleural space. The pleural space is the space between the two layers of the pleural membrane.

-x-ray can also reveal a mass in one of the lungs

-pleural plaques or pleural scarring might be seen.

2-Computed Tomography (CT)

Signs to look out for in the CTscan include:

-pleural thickening and pleural calcification

-thickening of interlobular fissures

-chest wall invasion

CT sans can also be used to guide the needle used in fine needle aspiration of tumor masses used for tissue biopsy.

3- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) This test produces a multi dimensional image of the tumors and the lung tissue so it is able to clearer picture of the diseased lung. It can show:

-the presence of mediastinal lymph nodes {lymph nodes situated in the tissue that divides the chest cavity into two halves}.

-a clear picture of the diaphragm to show whether it has been affected by the tumor.

4- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

This is a relatively new technique that is very useful in determining the staging of the tumor.


By combining the benefits of CT and PET (anatomic and metabolic information) into a single scan, this technology can more accurately determine the stage of the cancer, and can help identify the best treatment option for the patient. Once mesothelioma is suspected through imaging tests, it is confirmed by pathological examination. Tissue is removed, put under the microscope, and a pathologist makes a definitive diagnosis, and issues a pathology report. Mesothelioma victims should be aware of the different types of diagnostic tests that they might be subjected to so that they can cooperate fully.

Bello Kamorudeen. http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com


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