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J Cancer. 2019 Jun 2;10(14):3208-3213. doi: 10.7150/jca.30240. eCollection 2019.

Comparison between CT and MRI in the Diagnostic Accuracy of Thymic Masses.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, 200032, Shanghai, China.
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Xuhui District Center Hospital of Shanghai, 200031, Shanghai, China.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare diagnostic accuracy between CT and MRI for thymic masses. Methods: We searched literature and collected information on first author, publication year, cases of different types of thymic lesions, correct diagnostic cases of CT and MRI and results of quantitative analysis of CT and MRI. The ROC curve was applied to compare the diagnostic performance of different imaging modalities. Results: Eight literatures were finally included and analyzed in this study. There were 253 cases examined by CT and 340 cases by MRI in total. We showed outcomes of quantitative analysis of each study in this article. The sensitivity of CT and MRI was both 100%, while the specificity was 75% and 80%, respectively. AUC of CT was 0.875 [95%CI: 0.473, 0.997] and that of MRI was 0.880 [95%CI: 0.531, 0.995]. Conclusion: The diagnostic accuracy of MRI is superior to CT in detecting thymomas, thymic cysts or thymic hyperplasia but that of CT and MRI is still unclear in differentiating thymic carcinomas and lymphomas/germ cell tumors.


CT; MRI; diagnostic accuracy; thymic mass; thymomas

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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