MR Spectroscopy – pro

MR spectroscopy uses the same magnet and electronics as MR imaging, but with specialized methods that produce a “spectrum” identifying different chemical compounds in the tissues. MR spectroscopy has been shown to be useful for looking at various disorders, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and certain inflammatory and ischemic diseases. Generally used for the brain, spectroscopy poses no known health risk to patients and typically adds only seven to 10 minutes to the MR procedure.

MR imaging of the breasts has a high rate of sensitivity (94 percent – 100 percent) for detecting tumors, but a variable rate of specificity (37 percent – 97 percent) for distinguishing malignant from benign tumors. Whereas MRI is now guideline recommended for BRCA breast cancer screening, MR is a different technology and no such recommendation extends to it. It is not FDA approved for clinical use or for general screening.

1.Does the MR spectroscopy have final approval from the appropriate government regulator bodies?
2.Does scientific evidence allow conclusions concerning the effect of technology on health care outcomes?
3.Does MR spectroscopy improve net health outcome?
4.Is it as beneficial as any established alternatives?
5.Are there improvement obtained that are attainable outside experimental settings?
6.Is the denial of experimental supported as listed by TEC criteria and terms of medical policy and contractual definition?
7.Does application of TEC criteria make a logically based and reasonable guidelines for determining what is experimental/investigational?
8.Is there anything specific that would support overturning or upholding the denial?
9.Were CareFirst gudelines properly followed?

Patrick J Bolan et al Imaging in breast cancer: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Breast Cancer Research 2005, 7:149-152

Rachel Katz-Brull, Philip T. Lavin, Robert E. Lenkinski Clinical Utility of Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Characterizing Breast Lesions, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 94, No. 16, 1197-1203, August 21, 2002

N. Shah, A. Sattar, M. Benanti, S. Hollander, and L. Cheuck
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy as an Imaging Tool for Cancer: A Review of the Literature
J Am Osteopath Assoc, January 1, 2006; 106(1): 23 – 27.

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