M Thurnher

University of Vienna, Wien, Vienna, Austria

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Publications (3)9.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: During the last decade, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) mostly has replaced computed tomography for evaluation of spinal surgery patients. The inherent advantages of MRI are obvious for this particularly difficult field of imaging. With MRI, it is possible to demonstrate anatomic as well as pathological and iatrogenic changes in three different imaging planes and countless neighboring planes and to obtain a superior view of the complex postoperative situation regardless of the spinal level imaged. Soft-tissue masses in particular can be identified more readily and located within three-dimensional space. One of the major advantages is that the nature and histology of the mass can be estimated precisely using different MR sequences in combination with intravenous contrast media. The most important benefit may be demonstration of inflammatory and hemorrhagic masses in the early postoperative periods (with special emphasis on alterations visible in the spinal cord itself) as well as repair processes and ongoing degeneration in later stages. This visualization is possible even when their extent is limited. In the postoperative spine, the application of MRI was facilitated with the advent of new materials, such as titanium alloys, used for surgical instrumentation. These new materials limit the amount of artifacts visible on MR images. Earlier implants made of other metallic material prohibit the use of computed tomography in the spine. This article provides a brief overview of the progress in spinal surgery and focuses on the developments in MRI techniques during the last decade. Technical questions about imaging of spinal instrumentation are discussed. "Normal" postoperative findings needed for interpretation of pathologic conditions are also discussed. Finally, the most important frequently asked questions from referring surgeons that radiologists must be able to answer by MRI are presented.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 1999 · Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of our study was to compare the quantity and quality of tissue harvested from breast biopsy when using 14-, 16-, and 18-gauge "long-throw" needles. We performed a prospective randomized study in 64 patients with 66 breast lesions. Under stereotactic guidance, passes were made in random order with each of the three biopsy needles in each lesion. Samples were measured for tissue area and scored for their quality. All lesions, including benign and malignant lesions and lesions with and without microcalcifications, were analyzed. Findings of the biopsy samples were compared with the final diagnoses made at surgical excision. In all 66 lesions, 14-gauge biopsy needles obtained significantly larger specimens (14-gauge, 13.14 mm2; 16-gauge, 9.6 mm2; 18-gauge, 6.41 mm2; p < .05) and scored significantly better (14-gauge, 8.37; 16-gauge, 7.56; 18-gauge, 7.14; p < .016) than either of the smaller needles. The results for malignant and benign lesions and for lesions with and without microcalcifications were similar but not equal to the overall results. However, benign lesions and areas with microcalcifications seem to be more problematic for both smaller needles than for 14-gauge needles. Our results indicate that the quantity and quality of breast biopsy specimens depend on the needle size. Of the three needle sizes tested, only 14-gauge long-throw biopsy needles can be recommended for breast biopsy.
    Preview · Article · Jul 1998 · American Journal of Roentgenology
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the feasibility of the coaxial core breast biopsy technique performed under stereotactic and ultrasound (US) guidance in vitro and in vivo. Biopsies were performed in vitro and in vivo with a coaxial technique. In vitro, the true needle-tip deviation was measured with a breast phantom on a stereotactic device with alteration of x and y axes. In vitro US studies were performed to evaluate the optimal technique for harvesting sufficient material for histologic work-up. In 205 patients, coaxial biopsy was performed in 210 suspicious lesions under US (61 lesions) or stereotactic (patient in the sitting position, n = 67; patient in the prone position, n = 82) guidance. In addition, the coaxial system was used for preoperative localization. Surgery and histologic work-up were performed in all cases. In vitro, the true needle-tip deviation was found to be less than indicated on the stereotactic device. A factor was introduced to correct this error. For US guidance, angulation or rotation of the coaxial needle within the lesion proved to be the best technique to increase the size of histologic specimen. Of the 210 lesions, 112 were benign and 98 were malignant. Agreement between biopsy results and final postsurgical histologic analysis was found in 205 cases (98%). The coaxial breast biopsy technique is an accurate, simple, and time-saving method performed under stereotactic or US guidance.
    No preview · Article · Jul 1997 · Radiology